Climate Change

Get ready, get set, get wet

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Science  21 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6348, pp. 264-265
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6348.264-c

One of the expected consequences of anthropogenic climate change is the intensification of the hydrological cycle as a result of higher surface air temperatures. A commonly invoked description of how that will happen is “the dry will get drier and the wet will get wetter”—but exactly how much wetter the wet regions will get is difficult to predict. Borodina et al. used spatially aggregated observational data of precipitation from 1951 to 2005 to calibrate model outputs of historical rainfall. They found that most models underestimate the scale of heavy rainfall in regions with high rainfall intensity, and the land fraction that it covers, suggesting that the wet may get even wetter than has been expected.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1002/2017GL074530 (2017).

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