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China-Influencing Typhoons
Wang, Y-m., Li, W-j., Ren, F-m. and Want, X-l. 2008. Study on climatic characteristics of China-influencing typhoons and the interrelations between them and their environmental factors. Journal of Tropical Meteorology 14: 1006-8775(2008) 01-0024-04.

The authors write that "typhoons that affect China (hereafter shortened as 'affecting typhoons') are those, including tropical depressions, which form over the northwest Pacific, including the South China Sea, and bring precipitation to either the Chinese continent or one of its two main islands of Taiwan and Hainan, regardless of making landfall or being active offshore."

What was done
Wang et al. analyzed climatic characteristics of China-influencing typhoons over the period 1951-2004.

What was learned
The four Chinese researchers report that "the frequency of affecting typhoons has been declining since 1951 at a rate of 0.9 typhoon per decade, which passes the test of 0.05 significance level," emphasizing that "the past 10 years is the time that sees the least frequency." They also state that "super-typhoons have the largest drop in the frequency, showing a tendency of decreasing 0.7 typhoon per decade, which passes the test of 0.001 significance level."

What it means
As the earth has warmed over the past half-century or so, China-influencing typhoons have become less frequent, especially in the case of the most intense super-typhoons. If this is not just a coincidence, would it be a positive consequence of global warming???

Reviewed 20 May 2009