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Tropical Cyclones Peaking Farther From Tropics May 16, 2014
Satellite Image
Climate change is causing typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes to reach their greatest strength higher out of the tropics in some parts of the world.
People living in population centers far north and south of the equator are coming under greater threat of powerful tropical cyclones due to a shift in where the strongest such storms can strike.

Researchers have found that the location of where hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons reach their maximum intensity has shifted toward the poles at a rate of about 35 miles per decade during the past 30 years.

Writing in the journal Nature, NOAA scientists say that the greatest poleward shift is found in the North and South Pacific, as well as in the southern Indian Ocean.

There is no evidence of such a shift for Atlantic hurricanes.

While this could affect coastal cities not accustomed to such storms, the researchers warn that regions of the tropics that depend on rainfall from tropical cyclones may also be at risk of reduced precipitation due to the shift.

Photo: NOAA Environmental Visualization Studio