Climate Change Increases Super Typhoon Intensity

A recent study put forth by an international team of researchers discovered that the increasing temperature on Mars has been giving strength to the intensity of typhoons on Earth, specifically in the Northwest Pacific region. The researchers also concluded that the ferocity of tropical cyclones will only gradually rise and increase, with change in the earth’s climate over the next several decades.

Over 800 super typhoons were closely examined during the length of this study, and scientists realized that the intensity of the storms has risen nearly 10 percent since the 1970s. According to Wei Mei, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California and co-author of the study, the increase has been nothing less than surprising.

During further research, experts used almost 20 models and projection of CO2 emissions, and discovered that the maximum intensity of storms like super Typhoon Haiyan — the typhoon that hit the Philippines in 2013 and one of the most powerful storms ever recorded — will become ever stronger in the near future if temperatures continue to rise.

How Stronger Will This Become?

According to the data in the study published in the journal Science Advances, intense storms such as Typhoon Haiyan will be producing an approximate 14 percent increase in strength and intensity by the year 2100. While the researchers were in the middle of the study, they tried to identify whether certain variables responsible for more dominating events, like warmer sea surface temperatures, may be countered by changes in oceans. The strength of a cyclone and the speed to which it grows depend on the surface temperature before the storm, and the difference in temperature between the surface and subsurface.

Storms like Haiyan can very possibly affect the areas in their pathway. In 2013, the resulting damage of Typhoon Haiyan caused over 6,000 casualties and left over 1,000 missing in the Philippines alone.

The study found that the rise in sea surface temperatures was causing an increase in the intensity of typhoon. According to the research, “The strengthened typhoon intensity poses heightened threats to human society and marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Meanwhile, the intensification of these powerful storms may accelerate ocean warming and affect heat transport in both the ocean and the atmosphere.”