November 12, 2013--Global warming changing global precipitation patterns (Summit Voice)

Scientists with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory say unequivocally that greenhouse gases are affecting the distribution and intensity of precipitation around the world.The new study, published Nov. 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how emissions of heat-trapping and ozone-depleting gases affect the distribution of precipitation through two mechanisms. Increasing temperatures are expected to make wet regions wetter and dry regions drier (thermodynamic changes); and changes in atmospheric circulation patterns will push storm tracks and subtropical dry zones toward the poles. “Both these changes are occurring simultaneously in global precipitation and this behavior cannot be explained by natural variability alone,” said LLNL’s lead author Kate Marvel. “External influences such as the increase in greenhouse gases are responsible for the changes.”

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