SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Transport of moisture;
  • water cycle;
  • oceanic sources of moisture;
  • climate change

Abstract

[1] In this study, we address two key issues in the hydrological cycle that have remained elusive: 1) to what extent can we expect climate change to affect the transport of moisture? and, in particular, 2) how will the changes in the sources’ intensity (that is, more evaporation) affect the distribution of continental precipitation? This was achieved using a multimodel ensemble that allowed delimiting those oceanic areas where climate change will likely lead to an increase in evaporation (E) minus precipitation (P). Finally, a sophisticated Lagrangian model was used to identify which continental regions will be affected by changes in precipitation (E − P < 0) originating in each oceanic moisture source. We find that in boreal winter, wide sectors of Europe, Asia, Middle East, South America, and southern Africa are affected, but North America emerges as the most affected continental region. In austral winter, the largest changes are confined to northern and Central America.