Hurricane Maximum Potential Intensity and Global Warming

Published in Revista Cubana de Física, 2021

Recommended citation: Pérez-Alarcón, A.; Fernández-Alvarez, J.C.; Díaz-Rodríguez, O; (2021). Hurricane Maximum Potential Intensity and Global Warming, Revista Cubana de Física,38(2),77-84,



A study of the impact of global warming on the intensity of tropical cyclones (TCs) in the North Atlantic (NATL) basin for 2050, 2075 and 2100 was developed, based on the maximum potential intensity (MPI). For this study, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory – Climate Model (GFDL-CM4) sea surface temperature (SST) outputs and the Hurricane Maximum Potential Intensity (HuMPI) model were used. In the analysis of the mean SST on TCs season, was observed an increase of 3 oC respect to the mean SST of 2017. For 2050, 2075 and 2100 the peak of maximum potential intensity of TCs occurs in June, displaced respect to 2017 where it is observed in July and August. In addition, a continuous increase in the MPI was verified, reaching its extreme values at the end of this century. Thus, for 2100 the maximum potential wind speed exceeds 325 km/h while the potential minimum central pressure is less than 870 hPa. In the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the Bahamas archipelago area are observed the highest values of potential intensity throughout the TCs season. Monthly was observed a similar behavior in all years and lower values are observed in October and November. Likewise, the theoretical intensification rates in 24 hours observed is higher than 380 km/h in 2100, while the mean MPI will be 30% higher at the end of this Century than today. Given the economic and social impact of the TCs, it is necessary to continue studying the impact of climatic change on the intensity and frequency of TCs.

Keywords: tropical cyclones, climatic change, global warming, intensity, hurricanes