New evidence shows that the recent increase in hurricane intensity is due to climate change, and this figure depicts the rise in category 4 and 5 hurricanes around the world since 1975.

A study published in 2005 in the journal Nature links hurricane intensity and duration to the recent ocean-warming trends associated with climate change. This study also found that over the past three decades, the destructive power of hurricanes in the Atlantic and Pacific has doubled.(1)

Although no one particular heat wave, hurricane, or other extreme weather event can be attributed directly to climate change, it will likely cause these extreme weather events to intensify and occur more frequently over time.


  1. K. Emanuel, “Increasing Destructiveness of Tropical Cyclones over the Past 30 Years,” Nature 436 (2005): 686–88.