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WWF Background Paper Examines Link Between Global Warming and Hurricanes

Growing evidence suggests that global warming may be a factor in the formation of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean - a prospect that makes it likely that super storms like Hurricane Floyd will occur with increasing frequency in the future.

"Disastrous hurricanes don't occur in climatic isolation," notes Adam Markham, director of World Wildlife Fund's Climate Change Campaign. "They often come in clusters, when climatic and oceanographic circumstances are right. It is becoming increasingly clear that global warming may be contributing to the conditions that spawn these super storms."

After several quiet decades for Atlantic hurricanes, recent years have seen an major upsurge in hurricane activity in the region. Hurricane Mitch, which ripped through Central America last October, captured the headlines, but it was only one of 10 hurricanes in the Atlantic that year. The previous month, and for the first time in 100 years of recorded observations, four hurricanes occurred in the Atlantic at the same time.

WWF's Climate Change Campaign has prepared a brief background paper summarising the latest state of the science on the connection between global warming and the frequency and severity of super storms. A copy is attached.

For more information, or to speak to one of our experts, please contact Adam Markham, WWF Climate Change Campaign director, at 202-861-8382 or 703-623-3093.