Tag: extreme rainfall

Global warming drives more extreme rainfall

Summer rainstorm in the Rocky Mountains. @bberwyn photo.

New study pinpoints regional patterns in changes

Staff Report

Basic physics tells us a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, and that, at some point, that moisture will condense and fall as rain. That’s why climate scientists are certain that global warming will lead to more extreme rainfall, as has already been documented in various parts of the world the past few decades.

A new study now helps quantify the impact of warming and also reveals regional patterns that will help people prepare. According to the researchers with MIT and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the most extreme rain events in most regions of the world will increase in intensity by 3 to 15 percent, depending on region, for every degree Celsius that the planet warms. Continue reading “Global warming drives more extreme rainfall”

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NASA study solidifies evidence that global warming will cause more droughts and more extreme rainfall

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Some parts of the world could see more intense monsoon rainfall as the world warms up. Bob Berwyn photo.

Latest modeling offers a nuanced picture of rainfall changes

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — NASA scientists say one of their latest modeling studies supports previous research suggesting that global warming will intensify rainfall and drought.

An analysis of computer simulations from 14 climate models indicates wet regions of the world, such as the equatorial Pacific Ocean and Asian monsoon regions, will see increases in heavy precipitation because of warming resulting from projected increases in carbon dioxide levels. Arid land areas outside the tropics and many regions with moderate rainfall could become drier.

“In response to carbon dioxide-induced warming, the global water cycle undergoes a gigantic competition for moisture resulting in a global pattern of increased heavy rain, decreased moderate rain, and prolonged droughts in certain regions,” said William Lau of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and lead author of the study. Continue reading “NASA study solidifies evidence that global warming will cause more droughts and more extreme rainfall”

Global warming: More extreme rainfall events nearly certain

Warmer atmosphere, more moisture, more rain

Breckenridge, Colorado recently recorded an all-time 24-hour record rainfall event during a summer thunderstorm. Bob Berwyn photo.
Breckenridge, Colorado recently recorded an all-time 24-hour record rainfall event during a summer thunderstorm. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Large parts of the northern hemisphere could see a 20 to 30 percent increase in extreme precipitation events by the end of the century. Extra moisture due to a warmer atmosphere dominates all other factors, leading to notable increases in the most intense precipitation rates, according to a new NOAA-led study.

The study shows a 20-30 percent expected increase in the maximum precipitation possible over large portions of the Northern Hemisphere by the end of the 21st century if greenhouse gases continue to rise at a high emissions rate.

“We have high confidence that the most extreme rainfalls will become even more intense, as it is virtually certain that the atmosphere will provide more water to fuel these events,” said Kenneth Kunkel, Ph.D., senior research professor at the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites-North Carolina and lead author of the paper. Continue reading “Global warming: More extreme rainfall events nearly certain”

More evidence links global warming with extreme rainfall

Rainfall intensity to increase 7 percent with every degree of global warming

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Summer thunderstorms are likely to become more intense in a warming world.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Climate scientists have long said that a warming Earth will result in more intense rainstorms. Warmer air holds more moisture, and the additional thermal energy in the atmosphere can stir up more storms.

New empirical evidence supports those ideas, including a worldwide review of global rainfall data led by the University of Adelaide, which found that the intensity of the most extreme rainfall events is increasing across the globe as temperatures rise. Continue reading “More evidence links global warming with extreme rainfall”