Dominant climatic factors controlling the lifetime peak intensity of typhoons are determined from six decades of Pacific typhoon data. We find that upper ocean temperatures in the low-latitude northwestern Pacific (LLNWP) and sea surface temperatures in the central equatorial Pacific control the seasonal average lifetime peak intensity by

Global mean sea surface temperature (SST) has risen steadily over the past century, but the overall pattern contains extensive and often uncertain spatial variations, with potentially important effects on regional precipitation. Observations suggest a slowdown of the zonal atmospheric overturning circulation above the tropical Pacific Ocean (the Walker circulation) over the twentieth century. Although this change has been attributed to a muted hydrological cycle forced by global warming, the effect of SST warming patterns has not been explored and quantified.