The debate over global warming is about to get even more controversial. A study published in this week’s issue of the journal Nature finds that the strongest of hurricanes and typhoons have become even stronger over the last two and a half decades.
“I think we do see a climate signal here,” said James B. Elsner, the lead author of the paper and a professor of geography at Florida State University.
Elsner argues that as oceans continue to warm due to climate change, more Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes should be expected. These deadly storms have maximum sustained winds of at least 131 miles per hour.
About 90 tropical cyclone storms form each year around the world. In the Atlantic, the stronger ones, with winds of at least 74 m.p.h., are hurricanes; the equivalents in the Pacific and Indian Oceans are typhoons. Ten named storms have formed in the Atlantic this hurricane season, which continues to the end of November.
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