Thursday, August 21, 2008

Satellites show rainfall rise could soar

Environmental Research Web: Increased rainfall and droughts as a result of global temperature rise could be two to three times more severe than climate models predict. That’s according to satellite data analysis by researchers at the University of Reading, UK, and University of Miami, US.

"The discrepancy we found between the models and the satellite data adds to an emerging body of evidence suggesting that models may underestimate the increases in intense rainfall in response to human-caused warming," Richard Allan of the University of Reading told environmentalresearchweb.

Based on standard climate models and current rates of global temperature change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report of 2007 forecasts a 10 to 20% increase in equatorial and high-latitude precipitation, and a 10 to 20% reduction in the dry sub-tropics on 1990 levels by 2095.

However, after analysing their satellite data, Allan working with Brian Soden from the University of Miami, suggest these extremes could be two to three times wider than the models predict….

Bidgee took this photo of Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve, which is one of several reserves in the lower Adelaide River catchment in the Northern Territory, Australia. A thunderstorm dumps heavy rain over Fogg Dam during the Build-Up which is the lead-up to the Wet Season. Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

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