Constraint on precipitation response to climate change by combination of atmospheric energy and water budgets

Guy Dagan*, Philip Stier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Global mean precipitation is expected to increase with increasing temperatures, a process which is fairly well understood. In contrast, local precipitation changes, which are key for society and ecosystems, demonstrate a large spread in predictions by climate models, can be of both signs and have much larger magnitude than the global mean change. Previously, two top-down approaches to constrain precipitation changes were proposed, using either the atmospheric water or energy budget. Here, using an ensemble of 27 climate models, we study the relative importance of these two budgetary constraints and present analysis of the spatial scales at which they hold. We show that specific geographical locations are more constrained by either one of the budgets and that the combination of water and energy budgets provides a significantly stronger constraint on the spatial scale of precipitation changes under anthropogenic climate change (on average about 3000 km, above which changes in precipitation approach the global mean change). These results could also provide an objective way to define the scale of ‘regional’ climate change.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number34
Journalnpj Climate and Atmospheric Science
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Constraint on precipitation response to climate change by combination of atmospheric energy and water budgets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this