Environment

How Can We Prepare for Future Risks from Tropical Cyclones?

A better understanding of past tropical cyclones in a changing climate will provide key insights that can help mitigate impacts of tropical cyclones on vulnerable communities.

Tropical cyclones affect many parts of Australia. Therefore, potential changes in future tropical cyclone risks should be considered in coastal infrastructure planning, engineering standards development, and disaster management planning. A better understanding of past trends in an ever-changing changing climate will provide key insights that can help mitigate impacts on vulnerable communities.

The Australian region and its three basins mapped with tropical cyclone tracks over the period 1981/1982 to 2016/2017 seasons. Colors indicate different TC intensities for different categories of cyclones based on the Australian classification scheme.

In this WIREs Climate Change review, an objective assessment of the latest tropical cyclone research is provided, as well as the use of improved and up-to-date data records to describe tropical cyclone behavior within the Australian region, including origin of formation, intensity and decay, annual variation, and behavioral changes over past decades.

Overall, tropical cyclone numbers in the Australian region have decreased, but severity of these storms has increased. Unfortunately, this pattern is likely to continue in the future, which is consistent with projections from global climate models.

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