Tropical cyclones could be becoming fiercer because of climate change.
That's according to new study by the Massachussetts Institute of Technology climatologist professor Kerry Emmanuel, which has been published in the journal Nature.
The study suggests that since the 1970s, major storms in the Pacific have increased in duration and wind speed by about 50 per cent.
The study says trends are closely linked to increases in the average temperatures of the ocean surface, and they correspond to increases in global average atmospheric temperatures during the same period.
Professor Emmanuel says his results suggest that future warming may lead to an upward trend in the destructive potential of cyclones.