A new research shows tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and typhoons, are becoming more devastating in the western North Pacific than any other regions in the world. In the study published Wednesday in Nature, James Kossin, an atmospheric research scientist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), analyzed the routes and speeds of 7,585 tropical cyclones tracked by satellites from 1949 to 2016.
The study found that tropical cyclones across the globe slowed their movement by 10 percent on average over the past 68 years. Particularly, typhoons in the western North Pacific have slowed by as much as 30 percent whereas hurricanes in the North Atlantic and the Australian region saw the slowdown of 20 percent and 19 percent, respectively. “The pace of tropical cyclones slowed the most in the North Pacific region,” Kossin said in an e-mail interview. “Slower storms are related to the increased amount of rainfall and sustained stronger winds and waves could lead to more damage.”
Until 1996, typhoons had reached their maximum intensities in South East Asia, mostly in the Philippines and the South China Sea. Since then, however, tropical cyclone-related storms have been moving toward more heavily populated regions in North East Asia, including Japan, China and Korea. The speed and route of a typhoon movement are two important factors that affect how much damage will be caused to Korea by a typhoon, the American climate scientist said, adding that urban planning and disaster prevention and mitigation policies should be based upon these factors.