Global Fresh Water

The wet and the dry

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Science  27 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6289, pp. 1072-1073
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6289.1072-f

If predicting the availability of water during the next century were as easy as the phrase “the wet get wetter and the dry get drier” would seem to suggest, then planning for it also would be easy. However, although that simple formulation is useful when considering latitudinal averages, detailed predictions are more difficult, because atmospheric circulation patterns will change as the world warms, and so moisture will be delivered to different areas on a regional scale. Wills et al. examine this issue in more detail and conclude that moisture flux variations in the tropics will occur mostly because of changes in stationary-eddy circulations, whereas transient eddies will be most important in the extratropics.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1002/2016GL068418 (2016).

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