Figure 2.4 Number of total named storms in the North Atlantic and the average sea surface temperature in the main development region, filtered by an 11-year running mean
Note: Data obtained from www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/hurdat/ Source: Courtesy of J. Belanger.
The primary issue is whether the magnitude of the observed increase in hurricane intensity is as large as that observed by Webster et al (2005) and Emanuel (2005), given concerns about the quality of the data. As previously stated, a reanalysis of the global hurricane data set is needed to create a robust and homogeneous climate data record. Current efforts to use very high resolution coupled climate models to examine the impact of global warming on hurricane characteristics can also be expected to shed new light on the subject once these models are capable of simulating realistic tropical cyclones.
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