GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

Hurricanes and Climate Change

Through research, GFDL scientists have concluded that it is premature to attribute past changes in hurricane activity to greenhouse warming, although simulated hurricanes tend to be more intense in a warmer climate.  Other climate changes related to greenhouse warming, such as increases in vertical wind shear over the Caribbean, lead to fewer yet more intense hurricanes in the GFDL model projections for the late 21st century.  GFDL research on hurricanes and climate has been cited in several key assessment reports, including the WMO and IPCC assessments.  Further investigation with more advanced models is needed for more confident projections of future hurricane activity in a warming climate.

  1. Global Warming and Hurricanes website
  2. Large-scale Climate Projections and Hurricanes
  3. Historical Changes in Atlantic Hurricane and Tropical Storms
  4. Assessment Reports on Hurricanes and Climate Change