Storm Patterns and Intensities May Change

How storm patterns may change in the future is of obvious importance to water managers, but considerably less is known in this area than in the hydrologic changes discussed above. Changes in the intensity of hurricanes have been documented and attributed to changes in sea surface temperatures, but the link between these changes and climate change remains uncertain and the subject of considerable research and scientific debate. The most recent climate model projections indicate that climate change may lead to increases in the intensity of the strongest hurricanes, but effects on frequency of occurrence are still in an active area of research. Relatively little is known about how climate change will affect midlatitude storm patterns, in part because of the close connection between storm patterns and regional climate variability, although shifts in predominant storm tracks have been observed.

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