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Tropical Cyclones Impacting China
Reference
Fengjin, X. and Ziniu, X. 2010. Characteristics of tropical cyclones in China and their impacts analysis. Natural Hazards 54: 827-837.

Background
"With ongoing global warming predicted for the coming years," in the words of the authors, it is expected that "the duration and intensity of tropical cyclones (TCs) will increase," and that "their influence will become more serious." These possibilities are no small matter for China, as the two researchers note that "in 2006, meteorological disasters in China caused 3485 casualties and 25.2 billion yuan RMB in direct economic losses, of which TCs accounted for 30% of the total economic losses and 43% of the casulaties."

What was done
In an attempt to see if the past few decades give any indication of these expectations occurring any time soon, Fengjin and Ziniu used "data on the time and site of TC generation and landfall, TC tracks, and the intensity and duration of TCs in the Western North Pacific [WNP] and China during 1951-2008" -- which they obtained from the China Meteorological Administration -- to analyze the characteristics of TCs making landfall in China over that period.

What was learned
The two researchers say the data indicate "a decreasing trend in the generation of TCs in the WNP since the 1980s," and they say that "the number of TCs making landfall has remained constant or shown only a slight decreasing trend." Likewise, they report that "the number of casualties caused by TCs in China appears to show a slight decreasing trend," as would be expected under these less dangerous circumstances. On the other hand, they find that "the value of economic loss is increasing significantly," but they attribute this result to "the rapid economic development in China, particularly in TC-prone areas."

What it means
Based on the results of Fengjin and Ziniu's study, there would appear to be no sound basis for expecting the duration and intensity of TCs striking the coast of China to increase in the years and decades ahead, for if what climate alarmists call the unprecedented global warming of the past few decades has not brought about the predicted increases in these storms and their strength, there is no reason to believe that any continuation of the past warming will do so in the future.

Reviewed 22 December 2010