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Landfalling typhoons in East and Southeast Asia have been increasing in intensity, new research from a Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence (CRC) scientist shows.

Dr. Wei MeiIn an article published this month in Nature Geoscience, CRC Assistant Research Scientist Dr. Wei Mei shows that Asian typhoon intensity increased over nearly 40 years. Dr. Mei is lead author on the article, “Intensification of landfalling typhoons over the northwest Pacific since the late 1970s,” which was published online this week.

In addition to his position at the CRC, Dr. Mei is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Marine Sciences. Dr. Mei’s work focuses on understanding how interactions between atmosphere, ocean and climate dynamics and variability, affect tropical cyclone frequency, intensity and tracks.

In the paper published in Nature Geoscience, Dr. Mei connects the strengthening of landfalling storms to local ocean surface warming on the rim of east and Southeast Asia.

Typhoons that strike East and Southeast Asia have intensified by 12–15%, with the proportion of storms of categories 4 and 5 having doubled or even tripled, according to the paper. Typhoons that stay over the open ocean, however, have experienced only modest changes.

The paper can be accessed on Nature’s website.

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