Global precipitation variability decreased from 1940 to 2009
Article first published online: 14 DEC 2012
©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union
Volume 93, Issue 51, page 544, 18 December 2012
How to Cite
2012), Global precipitation variability decreased from 1940 to 2009, Eos Trans. AGU, 93(51), 544., (
- Issue published online: 14 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 14 DEC 2012
- Cited By
- p variability;
- water cycle
One of the strongly held assumptions of climate change is that the variability of precipitation will grow with an increase in temperature. Storms will become heavier but less frequent. Flash floods and droughts will increase. Regions that see extensive rainfall will get even more while arid regions will dry out. These projections stem from the way temperature affects precipitation patterns in global models. However, drawing on seven databases representing global monthly mean precipitation values, Sun et al. found that from 1940 to 2009 global overland precipitation variability actually decreased. In addition, they found that the changes in precipitation patterns that did occur led to a redistribution of rainfall such that on average wet areas and seasons got drier, and dry areas and seasons got wetter.