Climatologists from Princeton University have found that the sharp increase in the number of hurricanes off the coast of the United States in the past three decades is associated not with global warming, but with long-term climate fluctuations.
The authors of the new work decided to study the statistics of the frequency of hurricanes in order to understand what is the reason for their increase. Since it is impossible to say unequivocally whether this is due to global warming or not.
A record number of Atlantic hurricanes in 2020, a whopping 30 named storms have led to intense speculation about whether this is due to climate change. This is an issue that scientists continue to work on.
Gabriel Vecchi, climatologist at Princeton University.
Climatologists examined data from the National Hurricane Observing Center between 1851 and 2019, compared that data with how the Earth’s climate was changing at that time, and calculated the typical frequency, severity and duration of Atlantic hurricanes.
Over the past 150 years, the Atlantic region has experienced several rather long episodes of sharp intensification and weakening of storms, each of which lasted about 30-35 years. In particular, between 1900 and 1930, and in 1960-1980, hurricanes were relatively rare.
The authors noted, however, that the frequency of hurricanes was the same in the late 19th century and in the middle of the last century compared to today. From this, we can conclude that the number of hurricanes is not so much dependent on climate change as on long-term climatic fluctuations.