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Global Climate Change

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Tropical cyclones

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Recent studies suggested that there are significant increasing trends in frequencies of tropical cyclones and very intense tropical cyclones over the Atlantic since the 1970s.

Annual number of tropical cyclones with at least tropical storm intensity over the Atlantic (1971-2014).

Annual number of tropical cyclones with at least tropical storm intensity over the Atlantic (1971-2014).
(Data source: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

 

Apart from the Hong Kong Observatory, several tropical cyclone warning centres also compile best track data sets for tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific. The result of trend analysis of tropical cyclone frequency will depend on the choice of data set. According to the records of the Observatory, there is a decreasing trend in the frequency of tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific since 1961.

Annual number of tropical cyclones with at least tropical storm intensity over the western North Pacific (1961-2015).

Annual number of tropical cyclones with at least tropical storm intensity
over the western North Pacific (1961-2015). (Data source: Hong Kong Observatory)

 

Detection of long-term changes in tropical cyclone activity is subject to uncertainties in the historical data. Based on available records, there is no significant trend observed in global tropical cyclone frequency.