Most destructive hurricanes are thrice more frequent since 1900

Hurricanes have become more destructive since 1900 with the worst of them more than 3 times as frequent now than a century ago, according to a study which has used a new way to calculate the effect of climate change on hurricane size, strength, and damaging force.

The researchers applied a new way of calculating the destruction caused by hurricanes, compensating for the societal change in wealth since the 1900s.

The results of their study, published in the journal PNAS, revealed a steep increase in the frequency of the most destructive hurricanes that routinely create havoc on the North American south and east coasts.

"We find that hurricanes are indeed becoming more damaging. The frequency of the very most damaging hurricanes has increased at a rate of 330 per cent per century," the researchers wrote in the study.

Traditionally to estimate and compare the destructive force of hurricanes, scientists surveyed the subsequent cost of the damage done by each of them, the study said.

This meant calculating what the destruction by a hurricane from the 1900s would cost if it made landfall today, the researchers said.

They said in the old method the majority of increased destructive capacity of hurricanes was attributed to more people living now than a century earlier, who are more wealthy, and possess more costly infrastructure that suffer damage.

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