Typhoons that hit East and Southeast Asia have intensified by 12–15% over 40 years and will become even more stronge and intense under warming sea temperatures.
You may need to prepare for some extreme weather if you are among those who are living in Asia.
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New research suggests that typhoons that strike Asia have become more violent and intense over the past 4 decades and researchers believe that the frequency of storms will intensify in the future mainly because of climate change. Many Asian countries, particularly China, Taiwan, Japan and the Koreas will likely be hit hard by these typhoons.
The region has suffered some of the world’s most devastating typhoons in recent years including Haiyan, Usagi, Wipha and Marakot, which caused to kill thousands of people across east and south East Asia and left thousands of more homeless. The wind strength of those typhoons makes many of them equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.
"Over the past 37 years, typhoons that strike east and southeast Asia have intensified by 12-15 percent…Given disproportionate damages by intense typhoons, this represents a heightened threat to people and properties in the region.” Authors wrote in the study.
Previously, there was no authentic data available to identify the changes in the intensity and frequency of typhoons over the northwest Pacific Ocean. Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii and the Japan Meteorological Agency are the two main centers responsible for keeping records of typhoons and issuing warnings about them. But both yielded contradictory data. Researchers, however, eliminated the differences, corrected the facts and came up with a clear, uniform trend.
Researchers found that typhoons not only have become 15 percent more intense over the past 40 years, but the number of categories 4 and 5 typhoons have also increased considerably in some regions over that time. The average wind speed has increased by 7 meters per second, which leads to 50% more destruction.
“It is a very, very substantial increase. We believe the results are very important for east Asian countries because of the huge populations in these areas. People should be aware of the increase in typhoon intensity because when they make landfall these can cause much more damage.” One of two study authors Prof Wei Mei from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said.
Data links this intensification to sea surface temperature possibly caused by climate change. However, researchers are unable to determine whether man made climate change or natural cycles led to the ocean surface warming. But they are clear that the future global warming would heat the oceans in the region and would cause even more intense typhoons.