Research highlight

Precipitation extremes

Nature Geoscience

March 4, 2013

The difference in precipitation between wet and dry seasons worldwide has increased over the past three decades, reports a paper published online this week in Nature Geoscience.

Chia Chou and colleagues analysed global precipitation data spanning 1979-2010 for changes in seasonal precipitation. They found a trend towards wet seasons becoming wetter and dry seasons becoming drier - in accordance with some climate models - but also that the trend is largely defined by an increase in precipitation during wet seasons.

The authors point out that a more extreme seasonal precipitation cycle could have implications for drought and flood frequency, even if the overall amount of precipitation remains steady in the future.

doi: 10.1038/ngeo1744

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