Kevin Trenberth


Published date May 1, 2009

Precipitation in a changing climate - More floods and droughts in the future

  • States that evidence is building that human-induced climate change—or global warming—has a direct influence on changes in precipitation and the hydrological cycle
  • Says that while precipitation amount is most commonly considered, even bigger changes occur in its intensity, frequency and type (rain vs. snow)
  • Holds that a warmer climate increases risks of both drought and flood, but at different times/or places
  • States these aspects have enormous implications for agriculture, hydrology and water resources, yet they have not been adequately appreciated or addressed in many studies of climate change impacts
  • Finds that because natural variability in weather provides resilience, the biggest impacts occur through changes in extremes