Rain

The meteorological future is here

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Science  11 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6423, pp. 138-139
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6423.138-a

Extreme rainfall events are becoming more common with climate changes in many regions around the world.

PHOTO: PIRTUSS/SHUTTERSTOCK

Climatologists have predicted that anthropogenic climate change will cause more and more intense rainfall (along with other meteorological extremes), and it seems like that is occurring, but have precipitation patterns really changed enough to be objectively noticeable? Lehmann et al. present data showing that this impression does accurately reflect reality. They show that heavy rainfall events now occur more frequently than they did only 40 years ago in most of the world, except in Central Africa, where record-dry months have become more common. These trends are consistent with the changes in mean monthly precipitation expected to accompany climate change and should become more extreme in the future.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1029/2018GL079439 (2018).

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