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Observed influence of anthropogenic climate change on tropical cyclone heavy rainfall


The impact of climate change on tropical cyclones (TCs) is of great concern in the Western North Pacific (WNP) region. Observations suggest that there have been recent changes in TC-related heavy rainfall. However, it has not yet been determined whether anthropogenic forcing has any contribution to such changes. Here, we show evidence that the human-induced warming has considerably changed the frequency of TC-induced heavy rainfall events in the WNP region. Observations since 1961 show that the occurrence of TC-induced heavy rainfall has significantly increased along coastal East Asia, while it has decreased in the southern part of WNP. On the basis of large ensemble climate simulations, we demonstrate that the observed changes cannot be explained solely by natural variability. This suggests that anthropogenic impacts have already significantly altered the TC-induced heavy rainfall pattern in the WNP region.

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Fig. 1: Difference in TC heavy rainfall frequency (times per 10 yr).
Fig. 2: Differences in TC existence frequency and translation speed between natural and historical runs.
Fig. 3: Intense rainfall associated with TC conditioned on central pressure deficit.
Fig. 4: Long-term trend of detection signal s.

Data availability

All datasets used in this study are publicly available: d4PDF climate simulation dataset is available at; IBTrACS best track dataset is available at; APHRODITE precipitation dataset is available at

Code availability

The code used for the TC detection in this study is available at a GitHub repository: More information about the code can be obtained from the corresponding author upon request.


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N.U. was supported by MEXT/JSPS KAKENHI grant nos. 21H01442, 21H05178 and 18KK0117, and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) as part of the Belmont Forum. H.K. was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIT; grant no. NRF-2018R1A5A7025409 and 2021H1D3A2A03097768) and the Integrated Research Program for Advancing Climate Models by MEXT, Japan (JPMXD0717935457).

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Authors and Affiliations



N.U. and H.K. conceived the idea of the study. N.U. performed the analysis. N.U. and H.K. interpreted the results and developed the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Nobuyuki Utsumi or Hyungjun Kim.

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Nature Climate Change thanks the anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Utsumi, N., Kim, H. Observed influence of anthropogenic climate change on tropical cyclone heavy rainfall. Nat. Clim. Chang. 12, 436–440 (2022).

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