Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Characteristics of Tropical Cyclones in Houston, Texas


  • Sophie Zeng Jordan High School



Climate change


The objective of this research is to utilize a computational model for assessing the impact of
climate change on tropical cyclones in the Houston, Texas area. In recent years, it has been
observed that tropical cyclones have become more destructive, increasing in intensity and
frequency. The current body of knowledge on tropical cyclones has indicated the significant role
that climate change plays in the worsening of tropical cyclones. This research focused on
studying the characteristics of tropical cyclones potentially affected by climate change in the
Houston, Texas area, stemming from the researcher’s firsthand experience of Hurricane Harvey
which occurred in August of 2017. Nine global climate models were studied and incorporated
into a MATLAB computational program in this research to generate a total of 9,000 synthetic
tropical cyclones with and without climate change for comparison purposes. The various
characteristics of tropical cyclones were analyzed based on the output of the MATLAB program.
A comparison of these characteristics yielded the conclusion that climate change plays a key role
in increasing the likelihood of destructive characteristics of tropical cyclones. Therefore, it is
likely that future tropical cyclones in the Houston, Texas area will demonstrate an increased risk
severity, causing more harm to people and more damage to local society. It is highly
recommended that future research should focus on mitigation strategies for the Houston, Texas
area to reduce the consequence of tropical cyclones and prevent the situation of Hurricane
Harvey from reoccurring.


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How to Cite

Zeng, S. (2023). Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Characteristics of Tropical Cyclones in Houston, Texas. Journal of Student Research, 12(4).



AP Capstone™ Research