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Warmer Pacific worsened cyclone risk for East Asia

Published on Jan 16, 2014 8:21 AM

PARIS (AFP) - China, Korea and Japan have been placed in the firing line of powerful tropical cyclones by a warming of water in the western Pacific, according to a three-decade study published on Thursday.

Researchers led by Mr Ho Chang Hoi from Seoul National University in South Korean looked at five sets of background data for tropical cyclones that occurred in the northwest Pacific between 1977 and 2010.

During this time, the surface waters of the western Pacific were much warmer than the central and eastern parts of the ocean, they found.

This temperature difference, also called a gradient, went hand-in-hand with changes to a strong wind system over the Pacific called the Walker circulation.

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