"Storms should be responding to changes in the whole global wind pattern, since they are mostly just carried along in the flow", Kossin said.
The slower a cyclone moves over the ocean, the more moisture and intensity it gathers; the slower it moves over the land, the more time it spends drenching it.
Slower-moving storms mean greater rainfall totals, as seen with Hurricane Harvey in Texas past year.
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Kossin, who is also with the National Centers for Environmental Information, found a 20% to 30% slowdown over land areas affected by North Atlantic and North Pacific tropical cyclones, respectively. But one scientist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chose to look back in time, to see what happened in the past. Wind speeds within the storm remain high, but the whole system itself moves slower across the landscape, allowing punishing rains to linger longer over communities.
Tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and typhoons, are now crawling across the planet at a slower pace than they did decades ago, dragging out and amplifying their devastation, new research published Wednesday shows.
The authors say the slowdown is likely to contribute to worsening destruction alongside the associated increase in rain rates caused by global warming.
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In a warming world where atmospheric circulations are expected to change, the atmospheric circulation that drives tropical cyclone movement is expected to weaken.
"The poles tend to become disproportionately warmer than the tropics do under global warming", Kossin said.
Dr Kossin came to his conclusion by studying the tropical cyclone record, which spans from 1949-2016. So it isn't clear just how much of the change that Kossin found is actually attributable to human-induced climate change.
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