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Fraza, E., & Elsner, J. B. (2015). A climatological study of the effect of sea-surface temperature on North Atlantic hurricane intensification. Physical Geography, 36(5), 395–407.
Abstract: The climatic influence of sea-surface temperature (SST) on intensification is examined for North Atlantic hurricanes by averaging hourly intensity increases from best-track data over the period 1986-2013 in 4 degrees by 4 degrees latitude-longitude grid cells. Independent monthly SST data over the same period are averaged in the same cells. After removing cells with cold water or fast moving hurricanes, the SST effect on intensification, at the climate scale, is quantified by regressing intensification onto SST while controlling for average intensity. The regression is performed using a generalized linear model from a gamma family and a logarithmic link function. The model shows a statistically significant relationship, with higher intensification values associated with higher SST values. On average, mean intensification increases by 16% [(9,20)% uncertainty interval] for every 1 degrees C increase in mean SST. A clustered region where the model underpredicts intensification is noted over the southeastern Caribbean Sea, perhaps related to the fresh water plume from the Orinoco River.