Apr 12, 2013

Influence of the intensification of the major oceanic moisture sources on continental precipitation

Gimeno, Luis, Nieto, Raquel, Drumond, Anita, Castillo, Rodrigo, Trigo, Ricardo
Geophysical Research Letters
  • Addresses 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?
  • Achieves this 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)
  • Uses a sophisticated Lagrangian model to identify which continental regions will be affected by changes in precipitation (E − P < 0) originating in each oceanic moisture source
  • Finds 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
  • Finds that in austral winter, the largest changes are confined to northern and Central America.