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. Whereas today it takes an average of 12 days each year for half of the rain to fall, by 2100, in a scenario with high greenhouse gas emissions, the same fraction should fall in the wettest 6 days each year.

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

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