This study ascribes the observations in increased Atlantic tropical cyclone activity to variations in atmospheric circulation as well as sea surface temperature (SST) increase. Using a novel weather-pattern-based statistical model, the authors find that the warming trend in the Atlantic has doubled the probability of extremely active tropical cyclone seasons.
Tropical cyclones are among the most damaging extreme weather events. An increase in Atlantic tropical cyclone activity has been observed, but attribution to global warming remains challenging due to large inter-annual variability and modeling challenges.
Here we show that the increase in Atlantic tropical cyclone activity since the 1980s can be robustly ascribed to variations in atmospheric circulation as well as sea surface temperature (SST) increase. Based on a novel weather-pattern-based statistical model, we find that the forced warming trend in Atlantic SSTs over the 1982–2020 period has doubled the probability of extremely active tropical cyclone seasons. For the year 2020, our results suggest that such an exceptionally intense season might have been made twice as likely by ocean surface warming.
In our statistical model, seasonal atmospheric circulation remains the dominant factor explaining the inter-annual variability and the occurrence of very active seasons. However, our study underscores the importance of rising SSTs that lead to more extreme outcomes in terms of cyclone intensity for the same seasonal atmospheric patterns.
Our findings provide a new perspective on the contribution of ocean warming to the increase in recent hurricane activity and illustrate how anthropogenic climate change has contributed to a decisive increase in Atlantic tropical cyclone season activity over the observational period.
Defining a Regional Goal on Adaptation for the Caribbean
While the Global Goal on Adaptation provides a collective goal for adapting to climate change, adaptation is often a context specific and localised process. This paper proposes a Regional Goal on Adaptation for the Caribbean based on priorities relevant for Caribbean small island developing states.
Unabated: the Carbon Capture and Storage 86 billion tonne carbon bomb aimed at derailing a fossil phase out
The climate talks at COP28 have centred around the need for a fossil fuel phase out. Our analysis quantifies the risk posed by restricting a phase out commitment to only ‘unabated’ fossil fuels.
Adaptation constraints in scenarios of socio-economic development
Here, we combine data on documented adaptation from the Global Adaptation Mapping Initiative with national macro indicators and assess future changes in adaptation constraints alongside the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, spanning a wide range of future socio-economic development scenarios.
When will global greenhouse gas emissions peak?
The IPCC says peaking before 2025 is a critical step to keep the 1.5°C limit within reach. With emissions set to rise in 2023, this leaves limited time to act. To assess if we can meet this milestone, we look at when global emissions might peak, as well as what we can do to get there in time.
Wind and solar benchmarks for a 1.5°C world
This report presents a detailed methodology for determining the amount of wind and solar capacity that is required for a country to align with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature goal. While the focus of the report is the method, it includes illustrative benchmarks for Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Germany, South Africa.
Carbon majors’ trillion dollar damages
In this report we explore who could pay for loss and damage through the lens of responsibility for historic emissions, and the financial gains generated from selling oil and gas.
A 1.5°C future is possible: getting fossil fuels out of the Philippine power sector
The Philippines is also one of the fastest-growing developing countries: poverty is in decline, access to energy is rising and, with that, demand for energy services. However, fossil fuels still dominate the energy system, accounting for 78% of power generation in 2022. This report sets out what the Philippines government needs to do to get the country’s power sector onto a 1.5˚C compatible emissions pathway, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.
Production Gap Report 2023
Governments, in aggregate, still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. The persistence of the global production gap puts a well-managed and equitable energy transition at risk.
Emissions impossible: Unpacking CSIRO GISERA Beetaloo Middle Arm fossil gas emissions estimates
This report provides an independent evaluation of the CSIRO and GISERA assessments of the potential greenhouse gas emissions that would result from the exploitation of the Beetaloo fossil shale gas reserves.