In the Media

Gulf Will Face ‘More Tropical Cyclones’ Due to Climate Change

June 13, 2022
Tropical cyclone Shaheen making landfall over the Arabian Peninsula on 30 October 2021. Image credit: NASA


Khalifa University study finds that cyclones are more likely to hit land as temperatures rise. 


Gulf nations are likely to face more tropical cyclones amid climate change, researchers have warned.


Cyclones are more likely to form in the Arabian Sea as temperatures rise, they are predicted to become stronger, and there is a greater chance that they will make landfall on the Arabian Peninsula because the land is warmer, climate analysis suggests.


Models predict an increase in extreme weather globally as temperatures increase, and scientists have previously said that there is already evidence of this happening.


The latest study, titled “Key factors modulating the threat of the Arabian Sea’s tropical cyclones to the Gulf countries”, looks at the only two tropical cyclones to move into the Sea of Oman and make landfall on the south-eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula since 1900. These were Gonu, in 2007, and Shaheen, in 2021.


With climate change, temperature and moisture “are projected to increase significantly over our region”, according to Dr. Diana Francis, the first author of the study and head of the Environmental and Geophysical Sciences (ENGEOS) lab at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi.


Co-authored by Dr. Ricardo Fonseca and Dr. Narendra Nelli, postdoctoral fellows at Khalifa University, the paper will be published soon in the journal JGR-Atmospheres.


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