Hurricanes and Climate

The effects of climate change on hurricanes became a topic of much scientific debate and public interest after the devastating Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Scientist Kevin Trenberth (at left) speculated that warmer waters in the future would fuel more powerful hurricanes. Follow-up research by NCARís Greg Holland (at right) and colleagues found a near doubling in frequency of the most intense cyclones since the 1970s. Since then, NCAR has developed a special version of its Weather Research and Forecasting model trained specifically on hurricane modeling. Recent work continues to project an increase in hurricane intensity in the future.