DISASTERS

Study asks if Atlantic has shifted from 25-year cycle of lots of storms to 1 with fewer

FILE - This Aug, 31, 2005 file photo shows a man pushing his bicycle through flood waters near the Superdome in  New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina left much of the city under water. A new but controversial study asks if an end is coming to the busy Atlantic hurricane seasons of recent decades. The Atlantic looks like it is entering in to a new quieter cycle of storm activity, like in the 1970s and 1980s, two prominent hurricane researchers wrote Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience.(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

FILE - This Aug, 31, 2005 file photo shows a man pushing his bicycle through flood waters near the Superdome in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina left much of the city under water. A new but controversial study asks if an end is coming to the busy Atlantic hurricane seasons of recent decades. The Atlantic looks like it is entering in to a new quieter cycle of storm activity, like in the 1970s and 1980s, two prominent hurricane researchers wrote Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience.(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)  (The Associated Press)

A new and controversial study asks if an end is coming to the busy Atlantic hurricane seasons of recent decades.

The Atlantic looks like it's entering a new quieter cycle of storm activity, like in the 1970s and 1980s. That's what two hurricane researchers write in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Scientists say they're seeing a localized cooling and salinity level drop in the North Atlantic near Greenland.

They theorize those conditions change local weather and ocean patterns and form an on-again, off-again cycle in hurricane activity that they trace to the late 1800s.

The scientists say warmer saltier produces periods of more and stronger storms followed by cooler less salty water triggering a similar period of fewer and weaker hurricanes. The periods last about 25 years, sometimes more, sometimes less.