Tropical Cyclone “Maximum Intensity” Moving Poleward
A NOAA-led study finds that over the past 30 years, the location where tropical cyclones reach maximum intensity has been shifting toward the poles in both the northern and southern hemispheres at a rate of about 35 miles, or one-half degree of latitude, per decade.
According to the study—published recently in the journal Nature—the amount of poleward migration varies by region. The greatest migration is found in the northern and southern Pacific and South Indian Oceans; there is no evidence that the peak intensity of Atlantic hurricanes has migrated poleward in the past 30 years.
Many other studies are showing an expansion of the tropics over the same period. The expansion of the tropics has been observed independently from the poleward migration of tropical cyclones, but both phenomena show similar variability and trends, strengthening the idea that the two phenomena are linked. Scientists have attributed the expansion of the tropics in part to human-caused increases of
As tropical cyclones move into higher latitudes, some regions closer to the equator may experience reduced