While hurricanes are a natural part of our climate system, recent research suggests that their destructive power, or intensity, has been growing since the 1970s, particularly in the North Atlantic region. Since the mid-1970s, the number of hurricanes that reach Categories 4 and 5 in strength—the two strongest classifications—has roughly doubled.
Warm ocean temperatures are one of the key factors that strengthen hurricane development when conditions are conducive to their formation and growth. Therefore, as the climate continues to warm the frequency of intense hurricanes in the North Atlantic is projected to rise. An ever growing number of people and structures are at risk from the destructive potential of hurricanes.