Although global warming could cause a drop in the number of tropical cyclones, the storms that do form probably will be more intense, according to a study in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The study's authors, led by Thomas Knutson of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, N.J., base their findings on an analysis of past storm data as well as computer models that project future storm activity out to the year 2100, USA Today reports.
Knutson says, the number of tropical cyclones around the world can be expected to decrease 6 percent to 34 percent by the end of the century. On average, about 87 tropical cyclones form each year globally. So by 2100, there could be as few as 57 storms each year.
But the study also finds that the intensity of the strongest storms is forecast to increase, from 2 percent to 11 percent, by the end of the century.