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Tropical cyclones are topic that is not appropriately known to the public at large, but climate change has been on the public’s mind since the last decade and a concern that has peaked in the new millennium. Like the television programs of Jean Yves Cousteau the ‘plight of the oceans’, have recent documentaries nurtured a conscio- ness that major climatological changes are in the offing, even have started to develop. The retreat of glaciers on mountain tops and in Polar Regions is ‘being seen’ on ‘the small screen’ and has favored an environmental awareness in all populations that are enjoying an average well-being on Planet Earth. The vivid images on screen of storms, floods, and tsunamis share the fear provoking landscapes of deforestation, desertification and the like. Watching such as this one is seen are voices warning of what over is ‘in store’ if the causative problems are not remedied. Talking and d- cussing are useful, but action must follow. Understanding the full ramifications of climate change on tropical cyclones is a task that will takes several decades. In Climate Change 2007, the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) a high probability of major changes in tropical cyclone activity across the various ocean basins is highlighted.
This book is a completely rewritten, updated and expanded new edition of the original Global Perspectives on Tropical Cyclones published in 1995. It presents a comprehensive review of the state of science and forecasting of tropical cyclones together with the application of this science to disaster mitigation, hence the tag: From Science to Mitigation. Since the previous volume, enormous progress in understanding tropical cyclones has been achieved. These advances range from the theoretical through to ever more sophisticated computer modeling, all underpinned by a vast and growing range of observations from airborne, space and ocean observation platforms. The growth in observational capability is reflected by the inclusion of three new chapters on this topic. The chapter on the effects of climate change on tropical cyclone activity is also new, and appropriate given the recent intense debate on this issue. The advances in the understanding of tropical cyclones which have led to significant improvements in forecasting track, intensity, rainfall and storm surge, are reviewed in detail over three chapters. For the first time, a chapter on seasonal prediction is included. The book concludes with an important chapter on disaster mitigation, which is timely given the enormous loss of life in recent tropical cyclone disasters.
The modern understanding of climate extremes in the vast Pacific Ocean has been hampered by an incomplete picture of the incidence of such extremes in the past. For the first time in this book is given a largely complete account of extreme events – tropical cyclones (hurricanes) and droughts – culled from a myriad of sources, ranging from whalers’ logs to missionary diaries, as far back in time as written records extend. This book is an essential reference for anyone interested in the nature and recurrence times of climate extremes in the Pacific Ocean. It also provides fascinating insights into the historical impacts of extreme events on often highly vulnerable island populations and livelihoods and, in doing so, underscores their continuing vulnerability as they confront 21st-century climate change.

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