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Source: WMO Bulletin | July 2007
This paper discusses likely future changes in tropical cyclones, questioning whether they will become more intense following higher sea surface temperatures. The author outlines the different approaches currently taken to climate modelling and discusses the results of characterising current and future climate using the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg model, comparing them to observations.
Most climate models predict stronger tropical cyclones in a warmer climate, as an increase in latent heat provides more energy for the storms. But the author claims there is less evidence for a reduction in the frequency of storms in a warmer climate. Still, such a reduction could result from a general weakening of large-scale atmospheric circulation (which reduces the number of cyclones) caused by the rapid increase in water vapour that would follow a rise in global temperatures.