FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2012 file photo, a parking lot full of yellow cabs in Hoboken, N.J. is flooded as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Global warming is rapidly turning America the beautiful into America the stormy, sneezy and dangerous, according to the National Climate Assessment report released Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 24, 1992 file photo, a sailboat sits on a sidewalk at Dinner Key in Miami after it was washed ashore by Hurricane Andrew. Global warming is rapidly turning America into a stormy and dangerous place, with rising seas and disasters upending lives from flood-stricken Florida to the wildfire-ravaged West, the National Climate Assessment concluded Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2012 file photo, sea water floods the World Trade Center construction site in New York during Superstorm Sandy. Global warming is rapidly turning America the beautiful into America the stormy, sneezy and dangerous, according to the National Climate Assessment report released Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
n this April 21, 2014 photo,mechanical claws are used to remove parts of an abandoned boat from a marshy area off a road in south Mobile, Ala. More than eight years after Hurricane Katrina, work is finally underway to remove some abandoned boats from south Alabama waterways. Swampy marshes and bayous throughout the area are littered with boats that were abandoned years ago or washed up by hurricanes. (AP Photo/Melissa Nelson-Gabriel)
FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 file photo, customers stand in lines with portable containers, waiting along with vehicles for a service station to open its gas pumps in Brooklyn, N.Y. The federal government offered New Yorkers smarting from Superstorm Sandy some hope Friday, May 2, 2014 that they won't see a repeat of chronic gasoline shortages, announcing plans to create gas reserves to ease future weather-related disruptions. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31: Buildings are viewed from South Street Seaport, an area of lower Manhattan that was severely flooded during Hurricane Sandy on March 31, 2014 in New York City. A new report released Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that summarizes climate science, gave a dire picture of the earth's slow warming due to greenhouse gases and other human based behaviors. The report warned that countries and cities located along the coastline face a particular danger as the oceans continue to rise resulting in large scale flooding and erosion. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ - MAY 14: Workers prepare to remove the Star Jet roller coaster that has been in the ocean for six months after the Casino Pier is sat on collapsed when Superstorm Sandy hit, May 14, 2013 in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. The Casino Pier has contracted Weeks Marine to remove the Jet Star roller coaster from the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 29: Debris from flooding is scattered on a street near the ocean as Hurricane Sandy moves up the coast on October 29, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Governor Chris Christieâs emergency declaration is shutting down the cityâs casinos and 30,000 residents were ordered to evacuate. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 30: Resident Kim Johnson inspects the area around her apartment building which flooded and destroyed large sections of an old boardwalk, on October 30, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Johnson fled the area when the water began to rise yesterday. The storm has claimed at least 33 lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. US President Barack Obama has declared the situation a 'major disaster' for large areas of the US East Coast including New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Debris litters a flooded street in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn after the city awakens to the affects of Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in New York, United States. At least 33 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy as millions of people in the eastern United States have awoken to widespread power outages, flooded homes and downed trees. New York City was his especially hard with wide spread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
People walk through water on the beach near the time of high tide as Hurricane Sandy approaches October 29, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy drove a deadly tidal surge into coastal cities along the eastern US coast and pushed storm-force winds, torrential rain and heavy snow deep inland. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Oct. 29, 2013 file photo, Caleb Lavoie, 17, of Dayton, Maine, front, and Curtis Huard, 16, of Arundel, Maine, leap out of the way as a large wave crashes over a seawall on the Atlantic Ocean during the early stages of Superstorm Sandy, in Kennebunk, Maine. Much of the destruction from Sandy was caused by the stormâs surge, when rising seawater pushed by powerful winds came ashore and brought widespread flooding and damage to New York and New Jersey. The impacts of the storm, and what lessons Maine can learn from it, will be a focus of next weekâs 2013 Maine Beaches Conference. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
In this April 2, 2013 photo, waves break on the remains of a bulkhead in Middle Township, N.J. on the Delaware Bay coast. New Jersey officials and private environmental groups are doing an emergency restoration of 5.5 miles of Delaware Bay beaches to restore crucial feeding habitat for endangered shore birds including the red knot. The birds need the beaches to feed on horseshoe crab eggs, but Superstorm Sandy washed away 70 percent of the beaches. The bulkhead wreckage prevents crabs from reaching beaches and spawning. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
Church-goers leave Mass in the New Dorp neighborhood of Staten Island, N.Y., Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, amid destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Workers remove debris from the basement of a building in New York's Financial District, Monday, Nov. 12, 2012. Cleanup continues in New York and New Jersey, which bore the brunt of the destruction of superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
In this aerial photo, people survey destruction left in the wake of superstorm Sandy, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Seaside Heights, N.J. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
A pile of sand and debris sits near a house that was damaged by superstorm Sandy in Brant Beach, N.J., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. In its tear of destruction, the megastorm Sandy left parts of New Jersey's beloved shore in tatters, sweeping away beaches, homes, boardwalks and amusement parks. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
This Oct. 31, 2012 aerial photo shows storm damage from Superstorm Sandy over the Atlantic Coast in Seaside Heights, N.J. As biologists continue to assess damage caused by Sandy to wildlife and habitats along the Mid-Atlantic coast, conservation groups have launched efforts to repair damage to critical shoreline feeding grounds before migrating birds arrive in the spring. (AP Photo/The New York Times, Doug Mills, Pool)
Workers prepare to cut up the barge that landed in the New Orleans' decimated Ninth Ward, Friday, Feb. 24, 2006. The barge has become an internationally recognized symbol of the severity of Hurricane Katrina's destruction. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The devastated Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood is seen Monday Dec. 26, 2005 from the Claiborne Ave. Bridge, which spans the Industrial Canal and levees breached by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)
FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2005 file photo, Valerie Thomas, of New Orleans, left, and her nieces Shante Fletcher, 6, and Sarine Fletcher, 11, right, view the destruction of Valerie's brother's home after returning to it for the first time since Hurricane Katrina hit in the Lower 9th Ward section of New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
**FILE** Empty foundations and destroyed homes litter the Gulf Coast in Gulfport Miss., in the wake of Hurricane Katrina Tuesday Sept. 13, 2005. As Mississippi recovers from Hurricane Katrina's destruction, many fear that the development to come could erase the charm and diversity of the state's eclectic Gulf Coast communities. Its clear that the casio's will be rebuilt residents and officials hope the new landscape that emerges from the rubble won't be dominated by high-rise condos and tacky strip malls. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)
In this image produced and released by Space Imagery a sensitive satellite camera focuses on Gavelston, Texas, Nov. 11, 2003. Space Imagery photographed destruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005, captured images in a range of 11,000 km. around Galveston and Houston under a cloudless sky. (AP Photo/Space Imaging)
An aerial view of the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina is seen, Friday, Sept. 9, 2005, in Gulport, Miss. Arkansas troops are scattered throughout southern Mississippi helping with the hurricane relief efforts. (AP Photo/Mike Wintroath)
Local residents examine the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in Bay St. Louis, Miss., on Friday, Sept. 3, 2005. The coastal line of the city was completed devastated including the Bay St. Louis Bridge. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
**FILE** In this Aug. 31, 2005, file photo, Rhonda Braden walks through the destruction in her childhood neighborhood in Long Beach, Miss. A federal judge called the Bush administration's handling of a Hurricane Katrina housing program "a legal disaster" Wednesday and ordered officials to explain a computer system that can neither precisely count evacuees nor provide reasons why they were denied aid. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)
A large root ball of an upended tree flanks power company and telephone workers as they work to restore service in Fort Valley, Ga., Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. A tornado from Hurricane Katrina tore through the area creating a nine-mile path of destruction. (AP Photo/Ric Feld)
Amanda Sumarall, left, hugs her mother Rhonda Braden as they walk through the destruction in Branden's childhood neighborhood, Wednesday Aug. 31, 2005 in Long Beach, Miss. Braden was there checking on her father's house that received major water damage from Hurricane Katrina. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
In these images produced and released by Space Imagery, and provided to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), a sensitive satellite captures destruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. These before and after images show Gulfport, Miss., on Nov. 24, 2002, left, and then on Sept. 2, 2005, right, after the vast destruction to the port caused by Katrina. (AP Photo/Space Imaging, HO)
In these images released by Space Imagery, and provided to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), a sensitive satellite image captures destruction in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. These before and after images show Biloxi, Miss., Aug. 20, 2002, top, and on Sept. 2, 2005, bottom, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the coast. NGA will be using its cameras to evaluate the damage Hurricane Rita is expected to inflict on the Gulf coast. (AP Photo/Space Imaging, HO)
BACK TO SLIDE
WASHINGTON (AP) - Tropical cyclones worldwide are moving out of the tropics and more toward the poles and generally larger populations, likely because of global warming, a surprising new study finds. Atlantic hurricanes, however, don't follow this trend.
While other studies have looked at the strength and frequency of the storms, which are called hurricanes in North America, this is the first study that looks at where they are geographically when they peak. It found in the last 30 years, tropical cyclones, regardless of their size, are peaking 33 miles farther north each decade in the Northern Hemisphere and 38 miles farther south each decade in the Southern Hemisphere.
That means about 100 miles toward the more populous mid-latitudes since 1982, the starting date for the study released Wednesday by the journal Nature.
"The storms en masse are migrating out of the tropics," said study lead author James Kossin of the National Climatic Data Center and the University of Wisconsin. Kossin used historical tracks of storms in the Western Pacific, Eastern Pacific, North Indian Ocean, South Indian Ocean, South Pacific and the Atlantic.
That means more people at risk, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, because "you're going to hit more population areas," said Yale University historian and cartographer Bill Rankin, who wasn't part of the study.
The trend, however, is not statistically significant in the Atlantic basin, where storms threaten the U.S. East Coast. In the Atlantic region, the study has seen a northward drift of storms of only 4 miles a decade, which just could be random.
Kossin said the Atlantic region is different because of changes in pollution over the United States and other factors.
Kossin and colleagues say the changes start with man-made global warming, which alters air circulation from the tropics to just farther north and south. In the tropics, those changes increase upper atmosphere wind shifts called shear that weaken cyclone development. At higher latitudes the changes decrease the storm-decapitating shear, making those areas more favorable for storm intensification.
"The tropics are becoming less hospitable" for these storms, Kossin said. "The higher latitudes are becoming less hostile."
Past storm studies have been criticized because data doesn't go back many years. But Kossin, his colleagues and outside scientists say by looking at where geographically storms hit their peak this study avoids problems with haphazard measurements and thus can make a stronger connection to climate change.
"This is an important, very well researched paper that uncovers something that was unknown previously," said hurricane researcher Chris Landsea, science officer at the National Hurricane Center. Florida International University hurricane professor Hugh Willoughby called this the strongest tropical cyclone and global warming link yet.