Science says climate change is bringing more ‘grey swan’ storms to Australia

CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 01: Clouds form over the waterfront as Queenslanders brace themsleves for Cyclone Yasi on February 1, 2011 in Cairns, Australia. The cyclone is forecast to hit the north coast of Queensland early Thursday morning with winds reaching speeds of 280 kilometres an hour. (Photo by Simon J. Baker/Getty Images)

Climate change will bring more frequent and powerful “grey swan” storm events across coastal regions, including Cairns in Queensland, according to the latest research.

Grey swan storms are extreme tropical storms with devastating ocean surges.

Researchers believe the likelihood of the storms will be up to 14 times higher by the end of the century than it is today.

Other areas to be impacted include Tampa, Florida, and cities on the Persian Gulf.

Analysis by Ning Lin and Kerry Emanuel from Princeton University shows that ocean surges would hit 5.7 metres in Cairns.

The simulations indicate the possibility of storm surges up to 7 and 11 metres for Dubai and Tampa.

The research is published in the journal Climate Nature Change.


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