Climate Change

Uneven results

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Science  09 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6415, pp. 652-653
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6415.652-d

Climate change will exacerbate the unevenness of precipitation.

PHOTO: NITICHUYSAKUL PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES

What are likely to be the specific results of anthropogenic activities on climate, beyond higher temperatures? One may be change in the way rainfall is distributed in time. Rainfall is an uneven phenomenon: There are wet days and dry days, floods and droughts, and hard rains and gentle rains. Pendergrass and Knutti use observations and models to show that climate change should only exacerbate that unevenness. Today it takes an average of 12 days for half of the annual rain to fall, but in a rainier, high–greenhouse gas emissions world, half the increase in precipitation should occur in only the wettest 6 days.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1029/2018GL080298 (2018).

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