Mar 12, 2014

Robust spring drying in the southwestern U.S. and seasonal migration of wet/dry patterns in a warmer climate

Gao, Yang, Leung, L. Ruby, Lu, Jian, Liu, Ying, Huang, Maoyi, Qian, Yun
Geophysical Research Letters
  • Compares climate simulations over North America produced by a regional climate model with the driving global climate simulations as well as a multimodel ensemble of global climate simulations to investigate robust changes in water availability (precipitation (P)-evapotranspiration (E))
  • Identifies a robust spring-drying signal across multiple models in the Southwest that results from a decrease in P and an increase in E in the future
  • Finds the prominent changes in P-E in the boreal winter and summer are associated with a north-south dipole pattern, while in spring, the prominent changes in P-E appear as an east-west dipole pattern
  • Finds the progression of the north-south and east-west dipole patterns through the seasons manifests clearly as a seasonal “clockwise” migration of wet/dry patterns, which is a robust feature of water availability changes in North America consistent across regional and global climate simulations