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Atmospheric Warming and the Amplification of Precipitation Extremes

TitleAtmospheric Warming and the Amplification of Precipitation Extremes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsAllan, R. P., and B. J. Soden
Date PublishedSep
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0036-8075
Keywordsclimate, ice, models, surface, trends

Climate models suggest that extreme precipitation events will become more common in an anthropogenically warmed climate. However, observational limitations have hindered a direct evaluation of model- projected changes in extreme precipitation. We used satellite observations and model simulations to examine the response of tropical precipitation events to naturally driven changes in surface temperature and atmospheric moisture content. These observations reveal a distinct link between rainfall extremes and temperature, with heavy rain events increasing during warm periods and decreasing during cold periods. Furthermore, the observed amplification of rainfall extremes is found to be larger than that predicted by models, implying that projections of future changes in rainfall extremes in response to anthropogenic global warming may be underestimated.


ScienceISI Document Delivery No.: 347DW Times Cited: 35 Cited Reference Count: 27 Allan, Richard P. Soden, Brian J.

Reference number


Short TitleAtmospheric warming and the amplification of precipitation extremes
Citation Key473