Studies suggest that tropical cyclones are becoming more powerful with the most dramatic increase in the North Atlantic. The increase is correlated with an increase in ocean temperature. A debate concerns the nature of these increases with some studies attributing them to natural climate fluctuations, and others suggesting climate change related to anthropogenic increases in radiative forcing from greenhouse gases.

A new technique for deriving hurricane climatologies from global data, applied to climate models, indicates that global warming should reduce the global frequency of hurricanes, though their intensity may increase in some locations.

Tropical cyclones account for the majority of natural catastrophic losses in the developed world and, next to floods, are the leading cause of death and injury among natural disasters affecting developing countries (UNDP/BCPR 2004). It is thus
of some interest to understand how their behavior is affected by climate change, whether natural or anthropogenic.