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How climate change fuels tropical cyclones

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Geophysical Phenomenon


Source: The Hindu

Context: It is clear that climate change increases the upper limit on hurricane strength and rain rate and that it also raises the average sea level and therefore storm surge. 

Factors that fuels tropical cyclones:

Rainfall: Temperature has a clear influence

  • The temperature of both the ocean and atmosphere are critical to hurricane development.
  • Hurricanes are powered by the release of heat when water that evaporates from the ocean’s surface condenses into the storm’s rain.
  • A warmer ocean produces more evaporation, which means more water is available to the atmosphere. A warmer atmosphere can hold more water, which allows more rain.
  • More rain means more heat is released, and more heat released means stronger winds.

Storm surge

  • The rise in water at a coast caused by a storm – is related to a number of factors including storm speed, storm size, wind direction and coastal sea bottom topography. Climate change could have at least two important influences.



Prelims link.

Cyclone and anticyclones

Bomb Cyclone

Difference between cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons.

Favourable condition for formation of tropical cyclones

Mains Links:

Q. Tropical cyclones are largely confined to South China Sea, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mexico. Why? (UPSC CSE MAINS 2014)