Warming-induced contraction of tropical convection delays and reduces tropical cyclone formation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The future risk of tropical cyclones (TCs) strongly depends on changes in TC frequency, but models have persistently produced contrasting projections. A satisfactory explanation of the projected changes also remains elusive. Here we show a warming-induced contraction of tropical convection delays and reduces TC formation. This contraction manifests as stronger equatorial convection and weaker off-equatorial convection. It has been robustly projected by climate models, particularly in the northern hemisphere. This contraction shortens TC seasons by delaying the poleward migration of the intertropical convergence zone. At seasonal peaks of TC activity, the equatorial and off-equatorial components of this contraction are associated with TC-hindering environmental changes. Finally, the convection contraction and associated warming patterns can partly explain the ensemble spread in projecting future TC frequency. This study highlights the role of convection contraction and provides motivation for coordinated research to solidify our confidence in future TC risk projections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6274
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Warming-induced contraction of tropical convection delays and reduces tropical cyclone formation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this