A warming world will further intensify extreme precipitation events, study finds

Apr 05, 2013
A warming world will further intensify extreme precipitation events, study finds
Heavy precipitation.

(Phys.org) —According to a newly-published NOAA-led study in Geophysical Research Letters, as the globe warms from rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, more moisture in a warmer atmosphere will make the most extreme precipitation events more intense.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the North Carolina State University's Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites-North Carolina (CICS-NC), NOAA's (NCDC), the Desert Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and ERT, Inc., reports that the extra moisture due to a warmer atmosphere dominates all other factors and leads to notable increases in the most intense precipitation rates.

The study also shows a 20-30 percent expected increase in the maximum precipitation possible over large portions of the by the end of the 21st century if continue to rise at a high emissions rate.

"We have high confidence that the most extreme rainfalls will become even more intense, as it is virtually certain that the atmosphere will provide more water to fuel these events," said Kenneth Kunkel, Ph.D., senior research professor at CICS-NC and lead author of the paper.

Percent maximum daily preciptation difference (2071-2100) - (1971-2000). Credit: NOAA

The paper looked at three factors that go into the maximum precipitation value possible in any given location: moisture in the atmosphere, upward motion of air in the atmosphere, and horizontal winds. The team examined climate model data to understand how a continued course of high would influence the potential maximum precipitation. While greenhouse gas increases did not substantially change the maximum upward motion of the atmosphere or horizontal winds, the models did show a 20-30 percent increase in maximum moisture in the , which led to a corresponding increase in the maximum precipitation value.

The findings of this report could inform "design values," or precipitation amounts, used by water resource managers, insurance and building sectors in modeling the risk due to catastrophic precipitation amounts. Engineers use design values to determine the design of water impoundments and runoff control structures, such as dams, culverts, and detention ponds.

"Our next challenge is to translate this research into local and regional new design values that can be used for identifying risks and mitigating potential disasters. Findings of this study, and others like it, could lead to new information for engineers and developers that will save lives and major infrastructure investments," said Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D., director of NOAA's NCDC in Asheville, N.C., and co-author on the paper.

The study, "Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) and Climate Change," can be viewed online.

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User comments : 16

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ScooterG
2.3 / 5 (19) Apr 05, 2013
A modern-day Noah best get started on a new ark, cuz the rain's gonna fall and fall hard. A computer model says so.
VENDItardE
1.5 / 5 (15) Apr 05, 2013
idiots
Steven_Anderson
2.8 / 5 (11) Apr 05, 2013
Lets not get started cuz ScooterG and VENDItard said so, after all their magic 8 balls told them so. http://rawcell.com
Howhot
4.3 / 5 (11) Apr 05, 2013
Well this is just plain evident to anyone that studies atmospheric science and complex fluid mechanics. Mixing mixing mixing is all the atmosphere does. Global warming causes more evaporation of the ocean's water, more water in atmosphere and more rain. Higher ground temperatures loft rain clouds higher which create more violent storms. More water in the atmosphere means harder rains.

It's as simple as that.
The Alchemist
2.1 / 5 (10) Apr 05, 2013
Scooter, Scooter, Scooter...
Howhot is right, we could be reading scientist learn fire burns.
The only thing of interest in the article is what it doesn't say...
Water is a GH gas, and GH gasses... cursing and recursing. Sigh. :o)
ScooterG
1.9 / 5 (13) Apr 06, 2013
If the "science is settled"
If we "have consensus"
If we know what causes AGW
If we know the catastrophic dangers of AGW
If we know the solution to AGW
Then why the Hell are we still throwing money at studying the dam thing?
Maggnus
4 / 5 (8) Apr 06, 2013
If the "science is settled"
If we "have consensus"
If we know what causes AGW
If we know the catastrophic dangers of AGW
If we know the solution to AGW
Then why the Hell are we still throwing money at studying the dam thing?


Well part of the reason is people like you scooter. They keep doing studies because of the actions of a few politically motivated, well funded groups such as the Heartland Institute or the Cato Group.

It is also to try and determine what should be done to try reduce, mitigate and prepare for the changes that are likely to be coming.

It is also to try and more firmly predict what changes are coming.

It is also to try and determine the effects that have already occurred, along with how species are reacting to those changes.
ScooterG
1.3 / 5 (13) Apr 06, 2013

Well part of the reason is people like you scooter. They keep doing studies because of the actions of a few politically motivated, well funded groups such as the Heartland Institute or the Cato Group.

It is also to try and determine what should be done to try reduce, mitigate and prepare for the changes that are likely to be coming.

It is also to try and more firmly predict what changes are coming.

It is also to try and determine the effects that have already occurred, along with how species are reacting to those changes.


Right...I'm sure we're all pleased to know that climate change MIGHT affect future Boston Marathons. We're pleased that our tax dollars are so wisely spent.

Follow the money.
Maggnus
4 / 5 (8) Apr 06, 2013
Right...I'm sure we're all pleased to know that climate change MIGHT affect future Boston Marathons. We're pleased that our tax dollars are so wisely spent.

Follow the money.


Misrepresentation: to give a false or misleading representation of usually with an intent to deceive or be unfair ; a lie

Obfuscate: 1: a: darken
b: to make obscure

2: confuse

Moronic: 1: ADJ. very stupid
antigoracle
1 / 5 (9) Apr 13, 2013
Well this is just plain evident to anyone that studies atmospheric science and complex fluid mechanics. Mixing mixing mixing is all the atmosphere does. Global warming causes more evaporation of the ocean's water, more water in atmosphere and more rain. Higher ground temperatures loft rain clouds higher which create more violent storms. More water in the atmosphere means harder rains.

It's as simple as that.

Uh huh, it's gonna rain cats and dogs and hail taxis. Millions wasted by these high priced "climate scientists" to do simulations on their expensive kompooters, when Howhot got it all figured out for free. On the comparison scale of greenhouse gases, water vapor is numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and CO2 a distant 5. With 20-30% more H2O, I'm surprised their computers did not fry with all the warming. Never mind the computer models, we are doomed because Howhot says it.
VendicarE
5 / 5 (6) Apr 13, 2013
Stupid people are surprised by many things.

"With 20-30% more H2O, I'm surprised their computers did not fry with all the warming." - Anti
antigoracle
1 / 5 (8) Apr 13, 2013
Stupid people are surprised by many things.

"With 20-30% more H2O, I'm surprised their computers did not fry with all the warming." - Anti
-- VendiTurdi
Morons like you, who can't do simple arithmetic, but pretend to know science, and can't tell sarcasm, FAIL TO SURPRISE me anymore.
deepsand
3 / 5 (10) Apr 14, 2013
We are not surprised that you continue to fail to understand.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (7) Apr 14, 2013
We are not surprised that you continue to fail to understand.

Careful their Turd, stay too long, on the surface of your cesspool of ignorance, and the light will get you.
deepsand
2.8 / 5 (9) Apr 14, 2013
Guess that explains AO's lack of enlightenment.
Howhot
5 / 5 (4) Apr 14, 2013
It's amazing how creative the deniers can be in cooking up the most off the wall explanation for something as obvious as global warming.

The all seeing and knowing Scooterg asks about AGW:

Then why the Hell are we still throwing money at studying the dam thing?

Just to piss you and AO off! Enjoy.

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