Unhurried hurricanes: Study says tropical cyclones slowing


Yet tropical cyclones, which include hurricanes, have grown more sluggish since the mid-20th century, researchers say.

In particular, a slowing of circulation as the polar regions warm up faster than equator ought to slow down storm tracks, as well.

"The slower the storm gets, the more rain an area will get", said Jim Kossin.

In the last 70 years the storms have slowed by ten per cent. Slowdowns over land were higher in some regions (a 20 percent slowdown over land for Atlantic storms, a 30 percent slowdown over land for western North Pacific storms and a 19 percent slowdown over land for storms affecting the Australian region). But one scientist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chose to look back in time, to see what happened in the past.

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Kossin's work was based on details of nearly 70 years' worth of storms, but he made no attempt to determine what was causing the slowdown.

James Kossin's research showed that over the past 68 years, cyclones have slowed by 10 percent globally as the planet warms.

Climate change increased both the intensity of the rainfall and the likelihood that the storm would occur.

Another study that came out recently, using computer models, concluded that future storm movements will slow because of climate change.

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That means a storm that may already hold more moisture will have time to drop more of it in each spot.

Dr Kossin said more rain was also falling during cyclones, and there was evidence that tropical cyclones were migrating more towards the poles.

Kossin acknowledged problems with pre-1970s data but said that most of it deals with how strong storms are.

But Kossin, in his paper, writes that he wouldn't expect big changes in his results due to different means of measurement, since "estimates of tropical-cyclone position should be comparatively insensitive to such changes".

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Kossin concluded that the trend has all the signs of human-induced climate change.