Climate change has made modern hurricanes deadlier, but they don’t hit any more often than they used to, Science News reports. Researchers looked at a combination of observational and satellite data from 1851 to 2019 to better understand long-term trends in hurricane frequency and intensity in the Atlantic Ocean. Whereas both frequency and intensity increased in the short term, neither increased over the 168-year span. The short-term increase might be a rebound effect after high levels of dust and soot in the atmosphere suppressed tropical storm activity in the mid–20th century, researchers suggest today in Nature Communications. They emphasize, however, that this doesn’t mean climate change has no impact on hurricanes or won’t intensify them in the future.
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