Research shows Gold Coast set for more tropical cyclones

A NEW study has shown southern Queensland cities like the Gold Coast are at ­future risk of copping a direct hit from tropical cyclones.

The Bulletin reports, Tropical cyclone activity is shifting away from the tropics and towards the poles, particularly in the South Pacific region, according to research published in the renowned Nature journal on Friday.

US academics undertook the study using 30 years of cyclone data and lead author James Kossin said they stumbled upon the phenomenon while looking at the extreme weather systems around the world for another reason.


“The tropics are becoming less hospitable to tropical cyclones and the higher latitudes are becoming less hostile,” Mr Kossin said. “Sure enough, it turns out that there was a very, very distinct trend there.”

He said the biggest evidence of the pole migration could be seen in the western North Pacific, South Pacific and the South Indian oceans.

He said it could be due to a documented expansion of the tropics which has previously been linked to global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer.

“The expansion of the tropics appears to be influencing the environmental factors that control tropical cyclone formation and intensification, which is apparently driving their ­migration toward the poles,” he said.

The study also found that potential cyclone intensity was decreasing in the traditional tropics and increasing at higher latitudes, while wind shear was undergoing an opposite shift in each region.

 Original article written by Grace Uhr, To read it in full, head to the Gold Coast Bulletin website.