Climate Change

What you foresee is what you get

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Science  11 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6278, pp. 1163
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6278.1163-a

Monument Valley, Arizona, in the arid southwest of the United States

© DUNCAN PHILLIPS/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

Climate models predict that the U.S. southwest will receive less precipitation over the next century, while the northeast and midwest will experience significant increases. Observations show that these projected trends have already begun in the northeast and midwest, but the large natural variability of rainfall in the southwest has made the identification of any trends there equivocal. Prein et al. present an analysis that shows that observations do in fact indicate that a transition to a drier climate state in the southwest is under way. They attribute this shift to a decrease in the frequency of precipitation events in the region, in contrast to the increases in storm intensity that are causing more precipitation to fall in other parts of the country.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1002/2015GL066727 (2016).

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