Cyclone Biparjoy’s recent impact in India, the second-largest cyclone in the last five decades, highlights the escalating threat posed by tropical cyclones.

The warming of the Indian Ocean due to climate change is leading to more frequent and intense cyclones affecting South Asia.

Main Body:

Causes of Increasing Tropical Cyclones:

Climate Change:

  1. Severe cyclone frequency, measured using the Saffir-Simpson scale, has risen by 5% per decade since 1979.
  2. Rising sea levels amplify cyclone impact through increased storm surges, causing coastal inundation, soil degradation, and infrastructure damage.
  3. Increased moisture due to warming fuels more intense rainfall during cyclones, contributing to severe floods.

Changing Dynamics in Arabian Sea:

  1. Transformation of low-pressure areas into cyclones in the Arabian Sea has become more common.
  2. In 2019, 5 out of 8 impacting cyclones in India formed in the Arabian Sea, marking a rising trend.
  3. The Arabian Sea’s warming leads to more cyclonic disturbances and potential cyclone formation.

Bay of Bengal Dynamics:

  1. Low-level cyclonic vorticity in the Bay of Bengal intensifies cyclones.
  2. Rapid intensification is exemplified by Cyclone Amphan (2020), escalating from a cyclone to a super cyclone within 40 hours.
  3. Stronger storms now occur in regions near the Poles due to warming seas, expanding cyclone impact to new territories.

Monsoon Delays and Extreme Rainfall:

  1. Strong low-pressure cores of cyclones influence wind patterns, leading to delayed monsoons.
  2. Arabian Sea warming contributes to a threefold increase in extreme rainfall events causing floods in India.
  3. Accurate prediction of rapid intensification poses a challenge for current cyclone models due to inadequate ocean dynamics incorporation.

Vulnerability and Economic Impact:

  1. Rising climate-induced cyclones coupled with unplanned development heighten vulnerability in coastal India.
  2. Cyclone Amphan resulted in $13 billion worth of damage in West Bengal.


Implementing coastal zone regulations with local input is crucial to mitigate cyclone impacts.

Complying with emission reduction targets outlined in the Paris Agreement is vital to address the root cause of warming and cyclone escalation.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish August 25, 2023