Are Atlantic East Coast Major Hurricanes Increasing due to Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

According to a recent article in,  rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones and max wind speeds have significantly increased since 2001 along the US East Coast due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions which have warmed the planet and oceans.

SeeObserved increases in North Atlantic tropical cyclone peak intensification rates”


The reality is that the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation AMO Warm Phase has more to do with this than anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

AMO Phases

During the warm phase of the AMO, the number of weak hurricanes that mature into major hurricanes increases significantly. Atlantic tropical cyclone high-activity eras have occurred from 1880 to 1900, 1945 to 1970 and 1995 to the present. Low-activity eras occurred during 1901-1930 and 1971-1994. From 1970-1990 the AMO was in the cold phase, so the number of major hurricanes was reduced. The AMO shifted from cold to warm phase in 1995 and since then, the number of major storms markedly increased.

See Atlantic high-activity eras: What does it mean for hurricane season?”

Ocean Weather Services


About Fred Pickhardt

I am a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade after graduating from State University of New York Maritime College. I have extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, optimum ship routing, vessel performance evaluations and forensic weather event reconstructions. I founded Ocean Weather Services and as Owner and Chief Consultant currently provide optimum ship routing services and forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
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