Scientific Colloquium
December 15, 2006

"Hurricanes and Global Warming:  Expectations and Observations"

Recent observationally-based studies have been published that
analyze a large increase in tropical cyclone (TC) intensities linked to
warming sea surface temperatures (SSTs), that may be associated with
anthropogenic global warming. Having a jump in TC intensities today is
quite surprising to those in the hurricane-climate field because all
previous numerical modeling and theoretical work suggested quite small
man-made changes might occur several decades in the future (on the order
of 5% stronger near the end of the 21st Century). Several formal
Comments and Replies have already been published regarding these new
results. However, one key question has not yet been thoroughly
addressed: are the global TC databases are reliable enough to correctly
ascertain long-term trends in extreme (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Category 4 and 5) TCs?. This issue is addressed in this presentation.

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