Following on from the NERC Changing Water Cycle programme in which I contributed to the PAGODA and HydEF projects I routinely record some recent updates to the literature on this subject.

Changing Water Cycle papers

Current Changes | Dry/Wet region response | Extremes Energy Balance Links to circulation

Current Precipitation Trends


Adler et al. (2017) Surv. Geophys.: Precipitation variations & Trends 19792014

Sukhatme & Venugopal (2015) QJRMS: waxing and waning of tropical rainfall extremes with different phases of ENSO

Gu et al. (2015) Clim. Dyn: Precipitation trends since 1979 dominated by greenhouse gas forcing and Pacific decadal internal variability

Maidment et al. (2015) GRL: spurious rainfall trends linked to changes in gauge density over time; SST patterns play a strong role in determining Africa-wide rainfall trends since 1983: increased southern Africa DJF rainfall linked to negative phase Pacifc Decadal Variability index; this is expected to reverse following the change positive PDO around 2014.

Feng et al. (2013) Nature Clim.: increased variability in seasonality of tropical rainfall over the 20th century

Goswami et al. (2006) Science increase in heaviest rainfall offset by moderate events over India 1951-2000

Wet/dry region responses


Chen et al. (2017) HESS: distribution of water resources has become increasingly uneven across 291 Chinese catchments from 1956 to 2000

Bonfils et al. (2017) J. Clim: aridity increases in ~70% of regions where aridity sensitive to ENSO, but only 40% when aridity indicator for soil moisture used due to physiological effects for enhanced CO2

Feng & Zhang (2017) Sci. Rep.: 30% of global land has experienced robust moisture trends, 22% drier, 7% wetter; 52% of the satellite soil moisture drying trend occurred in arid regions, 48% of the wetter trend occurred in the humid regions

Dai et al. (2017) Clim. Dyn.: more intense warm season rainstorms have moisture removal rate increases =7%/K local warming so longer moisture replenishing time from advection/evaporation lead to longer dry spells & reduced precipitation frequency

Lambert et al. (2017) J Clim: Land-Ocean Shifts in Tropical Precipitation Linked to Surface Temperature and Humidity Change

Hiang et al. (2017) Nature Clim.: dry regions warm up more than humid regions

Humphrey et al. (2017) GRL: GRACE measurements used to reconstruct terrestrial water storage since 1985

Zhou and Lau (2017): consistent responses in mean and extreme precipitation that contrast markedly between dry/wet regions

Polson and Hegerl (2016): differences in model climatologies and of the wet and dry regions obscures clear amplification of precipitation contrast between wet and dry regimes

Polson et al. (2016): long island records confirm simulated tendencies for wet oceans regions to become wetter and low rainfall ocean regions drier with tropical warming

Skliris et al. (2016): amplification of ocean salinity patterns below Clausius Clapeyron rate consistent with climate models

He & Soden (2016) Nature Clim.: sub-tropical precipitation decline driven by fast adjustments to CO2 and uneven warming patterns & may already have realized most of the precipitation decline that would result from current radiative forcing levels

Byrne & O'Gorman (2016): greater warming over land combined with enhanced evapotranspiration explains reductions in relative humidity, further amplified by vegetation responses

Milly & Dunne (2016) Nature Clim.: historical and future tendencies towards continental drying may be considerably weaker and less extensive than previously thought due to neglect of stomatal conductance reductions in response to rising CO2.

Kumar et al. (2016) WRR: terrestrial hydrological sensitivity is 3 times greater in regions where the hydrological cycle is energy limited rather than water limited

Berg et al. (2016) Nature Clim.: Land-atmosphere feedbacks amplify aridity increase over land under global warming

Murray-Tortarolo et al. (2016) GRL: more intense dry seasons in arid regions 1989-2005 and linked to decreased NPP

Byrne & O'Gorman (2015): dry get drier does not apply over land, drying responses can relate to temperature and moisture gradients

Scheff and Frierson (2015) J. Clim.: increased subtropical aridity from increased PET due to increased net radiation but large discrepancies between models

Kumar et al. (2015) GRL: trends in wet/dry region responses strongly influenced by dynamics but signals of amplification in wettest wet seaons and driest dry season in models (doi:10.1002/2015GL066858)

Chadwick et al. (2015) Nature Clim.: despite uncertainty in location of future rainfall shifts, climate models consistently project large rainfall changes will occur for considerable proportions of tropical land over 21st century.

Kumar et al. (2014) Earth's Future: projections of water availability (P-E/Pmean, useful as a metric of flood and drought) indicate increased contrast between wet and dry season implying less reliable water availability in the future. AW increases in the wet season due to increased P but decreases in the dry season because ET increases faster than P. Soil drying could lead to a change in regime from energy limited to water limited.

Allan (2014) Nature Geosci.: local changes in precipitation are dominated by spatial movement in the atmospheric circulation.

Greve et al. (2014) Nature Geosci.: no evidence for wet regions get wetter and dry regions drier since 1950s; amplification of P-E patterns are not a good contraint on changes in aridity over land which is better assessed through a Budyko energy balance framework.

Roderick et al. (2014) HESS: projections in grid point P-E over land conform to Budyko framework relating to energy balance; surface E is strongly determined by reduced surface net longwave radiative cooling yet locally P-E is primarily determined by changes in P (which are sensitive to changes in circulation).

Fu and Feng (2014) JGR: decrease in P/PET (drier terrestrial climate) by ~3.4%/K

Chadwick et al. (2013) J. Clim.: wet get wetter response negated by slowing tropical circulation, spatial patterns of precipitation change dominated by shifts in convergence zones with changes in relative humidity becoming important over land

Liu & Allan (2013) ERL: increases in P and P-E at high percentiles and decreases at low percentiles while decadal internal variability of climate is important in determining past observed changes over land.

Chou et al. (2013) Nature Geosci.: increase in the range between wet and dry season precipitation

Marvel & Bonfils (2013) PNAS: simultaneous contribution of thermodynamic and dynamic components of global precipitation

Lintner et al. (2012) JGR: increase in contrast between very wet and dry monthly precipitation totals with climate change but signal is clouded by internal variability

Durack et al. (2012) Science: ocean salinity patterns express an identifiable fingerprint of P-E amplification

Held & Soden (2006) J. Clim. major robust responses of the hydrological cycle depend on low-altityde water vapour

Rainfall extremes


Atmospheric River Archive

Paltan et al. (2017) GRL: Atmospheric Rivers contribute 22% of total global runoff, increase the occurrence of floods by 80%, whilst absence may increase the occurrence of hydrological droughts events by up to 90%

Lochbehler et al. (2017) GRL: highest rainfall intensities associated with larger systems which explain super-Clausius Clapeyron scaling with warming

Karmakar et al. (2017) Sci. Rep.: extreme rainfall events in monsoon break cycle reduces subsequent active phase, reducing intraseasonal variability

Wasko & Sharma (2017) Sci. Rep.: only in the most extreme cases, for smaller catchments, do increases in precipitation at higher temperatures correspond to increases in streamflow

Sillmann/PDRMIP (2017) GRL: changes in extreme precipitation scale with surface temperature and don't depend on the forcing mechanism

Borodina et al. (2017) GRL: Observations indicate climate projections may underestimate heavy rainfall response to global warming

Dwyre & O'Gorman (2017) GRL: more intense mid-latitude rainfall extremes with warming but shorter duration due to stronger westerly winds

Pfahl et al. (2017) Nature Clim.: uncertainty & spatial pattern of precipitation extremes response to warming dominated by dynamical changes

Taylor et al. (2017) Nature: Heating of Sahara by rising greenhouse gases intensifying Sahelian storms

Bhattacharya et al. (2017) GRL: large-scale dynamics and convective scale changes alter precipitation extremes scaling with warming and are sensitive to convection schemes in aqua planet experiments

Ali & Mishra (2017) SREP: contrasting responses of extreme Indian precipitation to surface air and dewpoint temperatures

Wang et al. (2017) Nature Clim.: decline in precipitation extremes at high temperature in present day climate does not imply a potential upper limit for future precipitation extremes

Waliser & Guan (2017) Nature Geosci.: Landfalling atmospheric rivers associated with 40-75% of extreme wind and precipitation events over 40% of the world's coastlines.

Neelin et al. (2017) PNAS: natural threshold for extreme precipitation increases with warming leading to 100s-1000% increases in extreme accumulations with 3oC global warming by 2100

Bao et al. (2017) Nature Clim.: accounting for local cooling & synoptic conditions during storms, super-Clausius Clapeyron scaling of future precipitation extremes found

Loriaux et al. (2017) J. Clim: large eddy simulations show stability controls precipitation intensity, moisture convergence controls area fraction and relative humidity increases intensity while slightly decreasing area fraction

Fischer & Knutti (2016) Nature Clim.: reviewing progress in evaluation of heavy precipitation increases with warming

Barbero et al. (2016) GRL: precipitation intensification with warming in USA more detectable for daily than hourly observations

Lavers et al. (2016) GRL: water vapour transport skillful predictor of extreme rainfall over wester Europe in positive NAO phase at forecast day 10 but not in negative phases or at shorter lead times

Wasko et al. (2016) GRL: using satellite data to assess scaling in extreme precipitation with temperature

Pendergrass et al. (2016) GRL: diversity in extreme precipitation response to warming linked to convective organisation

Moseley et al. (2016) Nature Geosci.: Intensification of convective extremes driven by cloud%G–%@cloud interaction

Chan et al. (2016) ERL: characteristics of summer sub-hourly rainfall over southern UK in high-resolution convective permitting model

Lin et al. (2016) GRL: declining aerosol adds to CO2 warming and precipitation intensification

Ramos et al. (2016) GRL: doubling of strong Atmospheric Rivers reaching Europe from 1980-2005 to 2074-2099 in RCP8.5 due to increased temperature and moisture

Woldemeskel and Sharma (2016) GRL: increase in antecedent moisture prior to extreme rainfall in Australia and Africa but decrease in Eurasia and insignificant change in N America since 1920

Vittal et al. (2016) SREP: Indian summer monsoon rainfall extremes not determined by temperature (dynamics dominate but cause and effect may be ambiguous as low rainfall days may be associated with warmer conditions)

Froidevaux & Martius (2016) QJRMS: exceptional moisture transport and Swiss flooding

Giorgi et al. (2016) Enhanced summer convective rainfall at Alpine high elevations in response to climate warming, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/ngeo2761

Wasko et al. (2016) Reduced spatial extent of extreme storms at higher temperatures, GRL, doi:10.1002/2016GL068509

Zhou et al. (2016) GRL: Previous analysis based on the "interannual difference method" by Liu et al. (2009) overestimate scaling of heavy rainfall to global warming

Donat et al. (2016) Nature Clim.: more extreme rainfall in wet and dry regions when defined for 1950-1980 although this time period is unusual (large aerosol forcing) and changes in spatial pattern of wet/dry regions may be important [See critique by Sippel et al. (2016) HESS]

Chan et al. (2016) Downturn in scaling of UK extreme rainfall with temperature for future hottest days, Nature Geoscience, 9, 24-28, doi:10.1038/ngeo2596

Blenkinsop et al. (2015) Temperature influences on intense UK hourly precipitation and dependency on large-scale circulation, ERL, 10, 054021 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/5/054021

Molnar et al. (2015) Storm type effects on super Clausius-Clapeyron scaling of intense rainstorm properties with air temperature, HESS, 19, 1753-1766, doi:10.5194/hess-19-1753-2015

O'Gorman, P. (2015) Precipitation Extremes Under Climate Change, Curr Clim Change Rep, doi:10.1007/s40641-015-0009-3

Scoccimarro et al. (2015) Projected Changes in Intense Precipitation over Europe at the Daily and Subdaily Time Scales, J. Climate, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00779.1

Zheng et al. (2015) Opposing local precipitation extremes, Nature Clim. Ch., 5, 389-390, doi:10.1038/nclimate2579

Singh & O'Gorman (2014) GRL - convective precipitation extremes scaling with temperature limited by droplet/ice fall speeds in simulations, doi:10.1002/2014GL061222

Kendon et al. (2014) Heavier summer downpours with climate change revealed by weather forecast resolution model, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate2258

Pendergrass & Hartmann (2014) J. Clim: rainfall changes decomosed into mean and shift changes in distribution: 14-15%/K increase in heavy rain rates with warming associated to ENSO variability in models and observations

Westra et al. (2014) Rev. Geophys.: review of evaluating future changes to the intensity and frequency of short-duration extreme rainfall

Berg et al. (2013), Strong increase in convective precipitation in response to higher temperatures, Nat. Geosci., doi:10.1038/NGEO1731.

Lavers et al.(2013) ERL: future increases in moisture transport within Atmospheric Rivers implies increased likelihood of winter flooding in the UK.

O'Gorman (2012) Nature Geosci.: 99.9th percentile tropical precipitation increases by 10%/K based upon emergent constraint of present day variability on future responses

Lenderink et al. (2011) HESS: Hourly extremes scale with dewpoint temperature prior to the event at around 10-14%/K but relationship breaks down above dew points of 23oC

Sugiyama et al. (2010) PNAS precipitation extremes exceed moisture content increases

Hardwick Jones et al. (2010) GRL: sub daily rainfall extremes scale with Clausius Clapeyron up to 26oC with declines above this temperature associated with lower relative humidity (although the relevance to climate change is not clear and it is possible that the highest temperatures are associated with less rainfall and lower moisture availablility)

O'Gorman and Schneider (2009) PNAS: tropical precipitation extremes increase with warming vary widely across models, due to diverse changes in updraught velocity, but approximately scale with near surface specific humidity.

Turner & Slingo (2009) ASL: diversity of extreme rainfall responses over India linked to convection scheme


Global changes and energy balance


Shaw & Voigt (2016) GRL: changes in atmospheric energy budget over land dominates fast regional climate response to CO2 radiative forcing

Richardson et al. (2016) JGR: An assessment of precipitation adjustment and feedback computation methods

Flaschner et al. (2016) J. Clim. Understanding the Intermodel Spread in Global-Mean Hydrological Sensitivity

DelSole et al. (2016) J. Clim: Inferring Aerosol Cooling from Hydrological Sensitivity

Salzmann (2016) Sci. Adv.: Global warming without global mean precipitation increase?

Samset et al. (2016) GRL: PDRMIP results - fast and slow precipitation responses to a range of forcings and models; Black Carbon produces large regional fast responses and many land regions dominated by fast responses related to circulation

Dong and Sutton (2015) Nature Climate Change: greenhouse gas focing explains much of increase in Sahel rainfall since 1980s through enhanced meridional temperature gradient with a secondary role for aerosol

Allan et al.(2014) Surv. Geophys.: radiative forcing and energy balance explains small observed changes in precipitation while future increases in moisture transport are also important in determining contrasting changes in intense rainfall and light rainfall.

Bony et al. (2013) Nature Geosci.: Robust circulation responses to CO2 forcing related to fast adjustment and slow thermodynamical response

Cao et al. (2012) ERL: Climate response to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and solar irradiance on the time scale of days to weeks

O'Gorman et al. (2012) Surv. Geophys.: Energetic Constraints on Precipitation Under Climate Change

Muller and O'Gorman (2011) Nature Climate Change: An energetic perspective on the regional response of precipitation to climate change

Andrews et al. (2010) GRL: energy budget approach for interpreting precipitation response to radiative forcing

Ming et al. (2010) GRL: Altitude of absorbing aerosol change determines precipitation and sensible heating response

Lu & Cai (2009) J. Hydromet role of sensible heat changes and boundary layer stabilisation in determining precipitation changes

Levermann et al. (2009) PNAS: Basic mechanism for abrupt monsoon transitions

Allen & Ingram (2002) Nature: fundamental constraints upon precipitation and its extrmess

Link to circulation changes


Xia and Huang (2017) GRL: weakened tropical circulation due to differential heating of ascending and subsiding regions

Ummenhofer et al. (2017) GRL: emerging distinct pattern of enhanced wintertime precipitation over the northern British Isles since 1980s associated with changes in moisture transport and more frequent atmospheric river events and linked to multidecadal variability

Su et al. (2017) Nature Comms: tightening of the ascending branch of the Hadley Circulation coupled with a decrease in tropical high cloud fraction is key in modulating precipitation response to surface warming



Richard P. Allan
Location: Department of Meteorology (2U15)

 

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