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Intensity of tropical cyclones likely to be ‘increased’ next century: Study

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    2nd Apr, 2021


A new study has revealed that the intensity of cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons could increase in the next century due to global warming.

Key findings of the Study

  • There could be a 5% increase in maximum cyclonic wind speeds if the world temperature increases by 2 degrees by 2100.
  • The wind speeds of a cyclone can go at more than 300 kilometers per hour.
  • Rising seawater levels will likely intensify the intensity of the storm.
  • Rapid intensification can cause unpredictability in its behavior.
  • Countries that had never felt the impacts of cyclones might start witnessing them.
  • The amount of rainfall caused by the storms might also increase by an average of 14%.

Rapid intensification: It occurs due to an increase of maximum sustained winds of a cyclone by at least 55 kilometers per hour within 24 hours.

Impact of global warming on Indian Ocean region

  • Arabian Sea: The chances of cyclonic disturbances on the sea surface which are the low-pressure areas, transforming into cyclones have increased.
  • This occurs due to the decrease in vertical wind shear which is localized winds around a cyclone in the vertical direction.
  • Bay of Bengal: The number of cyclones to become severe cyclones had increased.
  • This had happened because of low-level cyclonic vorticity which intensified cyclones.

Wind shear

  • It is also referred to as wind gradient.
  • It is a difference in wind speed or direction over a shorter distance in the atmosphere.
  • Atmospheric wind shear is normally two types: vertical or horizontal


  • It is a clockwise or counterclockwise spin in the troposphere.
    • Vertical vorticity: This vorticity is caused by troughs and ridges and other embedded waves or height centers. A wind flow through a vorticity gradient will produce regions of PVA (Positive Vorticity Advection) and NVA (Negative Vorticity Advection). PVA contributes to rising air.
    • Horizontal vorticity: Vorticity caused by a change in wind direction or wind speed with height is termed horizontal vorticity.