Precipitation scaling with temperature in warm and cold climates: An analysis of CMIP5 simulations

Authors

  • Guangqi Li,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia
    • Corresponding author: G. Li, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia. (guangqi.li@students.mq.edu.au)

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  • Sandy P. Harrison,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia
    2. Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, Reading University, Reading, UK
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  • Patrick J. Bartlein,

    1. Department of Geography, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  • Kenji Izumi,

    1. Department of Geography, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA
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  • I. Colin Prentice

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia
    2. AXA Chair of Biosphere and Climate Impacts, Department of Life Sciences and Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College, Ascot, UK
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  • The copyright line for this article was changed on 23 MAR 2015 after original online publication.

Abstract

[1] We investigate the scaling between precipitation and temperature changes in warm and cold climates using six models that have simulated the response to both increased CO2 and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) boundary conditions. Globally, precipitation increases in warm climates and decreases in cold climates by between 1.5%/°C and 3%/°C. Precipitation sensitivity to temperature changes is lower over the land than over the ocean and lower over the tropical land than over the extratropical land, reflecting the constraint of water availability. The wet tropics get wetter in warm climates and drier in cold climates, but the changes in dry areas differ among models. Seasonal changes of tropical precipitation in a warmer world also reflect this “rich get richer” syndrome. Precipitation seasonality is decreased in the cold-climate state. The simulated changes in precipitation per degree temperature change are comparable to the observed changes in both the historical period and the LGM.

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