SOURCE: The Sydney Morning Herald
DATE: July 23, 2018
SNIP: Tropical cyclones are forming further from the equator as the planet warms, bringing new regions into the zone of the intense storms including parts of eastern Australia, new research has found.
The findings are based on data for 1980-2014 analysed by Melbourne University scientists trying to understand how the expanding tropics are already affecting the development of cyclones.
“In most of the ocean basins, there appears to be a decrease in tropical cyclone formation closer to the equator, accompanied by an increase in formation further away from the equator,” said Kevin Walsh, a professor at the university’s School of Earth Sciences, and a joint author of the paper published on Tuesday in Nature Climate Change.
“With projections indicating continued tropical expansion [with climate change], these results indicate that tropical cyclone genesis will also continue to shift poleward, potentially increasing tropical cyclone-related hazards in higher-latitude regions,” the paper, lead-written by Sharmila Sur, said.
“It’s quite alarming – policymakers need to be made aware” of the risks, and start considering taking adaptive steps such as tightening building codes, Professor Stephen Turton, a cyclone researcher and adjunct professor at Central Queensland University said.