Researchers find tie between global precipitation and global warming

Nov 11, 2013 by Anne M Stark
Lawrence Livermore scientists have found that observed changes in global precipitation are directly affected by human activities.

The rain in Spain may lie mainly on the plain, but the location and intensity of that rain is changing not only in Spain but around the globe.

A new study by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists shows that observed changes in global (ocean and land) precipitation are directly affected by human activities and cannot be explained by natural variability alone. The research appears in the Nov. 11 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Emissions of heat-trapping and ozone-depleting gases affect the distribution of precipitation through two mechanisms. Increasing temperatures are expected to make wet regions wetter and dry regions drier (thermodynamic changes); and changes in will push storm tracks and subtropical dry zones toward the poles.

"Both these changes are occurring simultaneously in global precipitation and this behavior cannot be explained by natural variability alone," said LLNL's lead author Kate Marvel. "External influences such as the increase in are responsible for the changes."

The team compared climate model predications with the Global Precipitation Climatology Project's global observations, which span from 1979-2012, and found that natural variability (such as El Niños and La Niñas) does not account for the changes in global precipitation patterns. While natural fluctuations in climate can lead to either intensification or poleward shifts in precipitation, it is very rare for the two effects to occur together naturally.

"In combination, manmade increases in greenhouse gases and stratospheric ozone depletion are expected to lead to both an intensification and redistribution of global precipitation," said Céline Bonfils, the other LLNL author. "The fact that we see both of these effects simultaneously in the observations is strong evidence that humans are affecting global precipitation."

Marvel and Bonfils identified a fingerprint pattern that characterizes the simultaneous response of precipitation location and intensity to external forcing.

"Most previous work has focused on either thermodynamic or dynamic changes in isolation. By looking at both, we were able to identify a pattern of precipitation change that fits with what is expected from human-caused climate change," Marvel said.

By focusing on the underlying mechanisms that drive changes in global precipitation and by restricting the analysis to the large scales where there is confidence in the models' ability to reproduce the current climate, "we have shown that the changes observed in the satellite era are externally forced and likely to be from man," Bonfils said.

Explore further: Statistically linking extreme precipitation to global warming

More information: Identifying external influences on global precipitation, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1314382110

Related Stories

Global precipitation variability decreased from 1940 to 2009

Oct 29, 2012

One of the strongly held assumptions of climate change is that the variability of precipitation will grow with an increase in temperature. Storms will become heavier but less frequent. Flash floods and droughts will increase. ...

Statistically linking extreme precipitation to global warming

Sep 24, 2013

Extreme rainfall can have serious effects on societies and ecosystems. Increases in extreme precipitation events are predicted to occur as Earth's climate warms, in part because warmer air has greater capacity to hold moisture, ...

Geoengineering the climate could reduce vital rains

Oct 31, 2013

Although a significant build-up in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would alter worldwide precipitation patterns, a widely discussed technological approach to reduce future global warming would also interfere ...

Cutting carbon dioxide helps prevent drying

Mar 24, 2011

Recent climate modeling has shown that reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would give the Earth a wetter climate in the short term. New research from Carnegie Global Ecology scientists Long Cao ...

Recommended for you

Scientists stalk coastal killer

4 hours ago

For much of Wednesday, a small group of volunteers and researchers walked in and out of the surf testing a new form of surveillance on the biggest killer of beach swimmers - rip currents.

Fires in Central Africa During July 2014

18 hours ago

Hundreds of fires covered central Africa in mid-July 2014, as the annual fire season continues across the region. Multiple red hotspots, which indicate areas of increased temperatures, are heavily sprinkled ...

NASA's HS3 mission spotlight: The HIRAD instrument

Jul 24, 2014

The Hurricane Imaging Radiometer, known as HIRAD, will fly aboard one of two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft during NASA's Hurricane Severe Storm Sentinel or HS3 mission from Wallops beginning August 26 through ...

User comments : 35

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Howhot
2.8 / 5 (14) Nov 11, 2013
Emissions of heat-trapping and ozone-depleting gases affect the distribution of precipitation through two mechanisms. Increasing temperatures are expected to make wet regions wetter and dry regions drier (thermodynamic changes); and changes in atmospheric circulation patterns will push storm tracks and subtropical dry zones toward the poles.


Good article. I'm glad someone brought up this study that in its basic essences says, with AGW, wet regions get wetter and dry regions get drier. There is more of course, but those facts seems to fit observations. Just head on over to climate.gov and scroll down to the global climate dashboard, and look at ocean heat.

http://www.climate.gov/

If you look at ocean heat, its easy to see that water evaporation and atmospheric humidity would track ocean heat, and areas of rain would get more of it. Look at the strenght of Typhoon Haiyan as an example of the energy of the oceans being pumped up. It all tracks the CO2 AGW hockeystick!
RobPaulG
1.7 / 5 (34) Nov 12, 2013
The never ending propaganda here is discouraging. More science, less socialist propaganda.
The Alchemist
1.1 / 5 (28) Nov 12, 2013
Another of the Alchemist's predictions based on a very simple model, verified.

Are you all going to continue the criticisms of my unsusbstanciated premise?
NikFromNYC
1.3 / 5 (29) Nov 12, 2013
Let's visit Climate.gov indeed, to find propaganda that visually denies perfect century old low CO₂ precedence for the latest climate variation:
http://s16.postim...mage.jpg

Hockey sticks themselves ridiculously show a much too early boom in temperature for CO₂ to be responsible according to the IPCC's claim of attribution dates, and this boom isn't even reliably seen in the input data so either thermometer records are spliced on as proxy data is scandalously deleted when it instead heads down, or proxies are merely fraudulently re-dated to afford a blade by sudden data drop-off at the end, seen in (homework alert) Marcott 2013 featured in Science:

(A) Proxies plotted directly from supplementary info:
http://s21.postim...xies.jpg

(B) Mann's glee about what a co-author called a "super hockey stick" to NY Times reporter Revkin:
http://s15.postim...2013.jpg

Mann Made BULLSHIT! (See Penn & Teller episode, even.)
NikFromNYC
1.4 / 5 (30) Nov 12, 2013
Howhot has a great skeptical tip, so indeed *look* at ocean heat from Climate.gov:
http://s7.postimg...Heat.jpg

It utterly falsifies the correlation of the biggest heat engine on the planet that dominates climate with the recent boost in CO₂ because just as emissions have ended up being above old IPCC predictions due to China and India coal plants, ocean heat is going nowhere!

Thus you hear data-devoid claims that a *magical* process is hiding extra greenhouse heat caused in the atmosphere way down in the deep ocean, while failing to heat the top layers it must pass through to get down, down, down there.

Why don't they just hide in Area 51?

"The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." - Climategate e-mail of *publicly* ultra-confident Dr. Kevin Trenberth, former doctoral adviser to outspoken skeptic Dr. John Christy who runs one of the two actual space age satellite temperature data sets.
NikFromNYC
1.3 / 5 (29) Nov 12, 2013
Climate.gov also shows how climate "scientists" create alarm using statistical mash-ups that are themselves *falsified* by basic on-the-ground data, namely tide gauges. I even made a quick infographic:
http://s10.postim...evel.jpg

[My tide gauge plot is directly extracted (yellow -> black) from their own reference of Church & White 2011:
http://www.climat...ea-level ]

The way boring old linear tide gauge data is converted into an upcurving match for CO₂ is...adjustments to *actual* sea level *away* from their *actual* value into a *virtual* sea level value but this *unreal* sea level value is still *labelled* "sea level"!!!

They *add* unreal sea level boosts by assumptions such as *adding* water held in dams and water reservoirs to the sea level, all the while minimizing any corresponding correction for groundwater well pumping to the surface.

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
NikFromNYC
1.4 / 5 (30) Nov 12, 2013
When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "Off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said

Feed your head
Feed your head
Joe Science
1.3 / 5 (23) Nov 12, 2013
Socialism masquerading.

Australia's cabinet has decided it will reject new contributions or taxes related to climate change at this week's annual United Nations global summit on climate change in Warsaw, calling the measures "socialism masquerading as environmentalism."
NikFromNYC
1.1 / 5 (28) Nov 12, 2013
Berkeley physicist Richard Muller who created an innovative new global average temperature record called BEST: "What's wrong is what they said. The conclusions that Michael Mann drew, that it's the warmest it's been in a thousand years – I was on an international academy review panel that looked at that. Our conclusion was: he could not draw those conclusions."

Richard Muller in 2010: "The data they used in Climategate was proxy data. I wrote a book on the using of that. What they did was, I think, shameful. And it was scientific malpractice. If they were licensed scientists, they should have to lose their licence."

Muller: "Intense storms have not increased! They have not increased."

Muller: "They withheld the data, as they said in their emails – by the way, most people don't believe those emails were hacked, they were leaked by a member of the team...."

Muller: "The theory doesn't predict more intense storms."
NikFromNYC
1.1 / 5 (28) Nov 12, 2013
Related now directly to this paper, the Hockey Stick Team of Climategate infamy to this day *still* dominates the peer review process in the rogue "science" best called Climatology to properly associate it with the "religion" of Scientology, and this group *still* dominates the keeping of statistically manipulated basic climatological data the all studies like this current paper pivot on.

They *haven't* cleaned house, so it's all now subject to Muller's Lamentations, including this study.
NikFromNYC
1.1 / 5 (27) Nov 12, 2013
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) journal here allows authors to recommend their own preferred reviewers, namely other lifetime members, always including cheerleaders from the Hockey Stick Team who then can also steer the emphasis of each paper they review of other less prestigious, more funding vulnerable authors. Any skeptical science risks bring actively attacked in public as Inquisition worthy "denial" as seen here by top Climatologist Michael Mann:
https://twitter.c...76027393

"You are seriously calling Rob a denier for criticising your work, M? That's pretty strong to call a prof climate colleague." - Dr. Tasmin Edwards

-=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in carbon chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)
NikFromNYC
1.1 / 5 (27) Nov 12, 2013
As seen in this paper's free supplementary information, they rely on the outlier, ridiculously re-adjusted GISS global average temperature series invented by protester Jim "Coal Death Trains" Hansen. The re-adjustment difference curve (homework alert) for the US alone is utterly mind boggling:
http://s22.postim...1_20.jpg

Thus *this* level of often non-peer reviewed data manipulation is *contained* in the above study!

Skeptic John Daly kept an archive of now deleted NASA GISS data from 1999. Basically the US dust bowl has been adjusted away in Soviet fashion. Might deleting the hottest era in modern history effect the results of the current study?!
NikFromNYC
1.1 / 5 (27) Nov 12, 2013
Slanderous Death Threat Guy didn't beat me to the punch today, to smoke screen away skeptical comments. So enjoy the above WALL OF SKEPTICISM which I tried my best to render relevant to the current, perfectly sincere study. I also scored an eBay win for my small business, this procrastinative work day, steamy shower running much of this time, alas, as these damn iPhones mean often frustratingly skewed science news follows me around all day:
http://s6.postimg...mage.jpg
NOM
3.2 / 5 (9) Nov 12, 2013
Nick. You managed to say that without getting your caps-lock key stuck. Are you on new medication today?
NikFromNYC
1.2 / 5 (25) Nov 12, 2013
"NICK. YOU MANAGED TO SAY THAT WITHOUT GETTING YOUR CAPS-LOCK KEY STUCK. ARE YOU ON NEW MEDICATION TODAY?" - NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM

"nIcK. yOu mAnAgEd tO SaY ThAt wItHoUt gEtTiNg yOuR CaPs-lOcK KeY StUcK. aRe yOu oN NeW MeDiCaTiOn tOdAy?" - nOm

NOM = No Other Message
NikFromNYC
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 12, 2013
Asshole.

NOM = No Other Message
NikFromNYC
1.2 / 5 (23) Nov 12, 2013
NOM?
Howhot
3.7 / 5 (11) Nov 13, 2013
Hum, I've never understood what makes a Teabagger a teabagger in the same way I can't understand people that deny truth and claim a lie is truth; especially as something as serious as global warming. @NIK, Statistics can be abused but in science stats are extremely valuable for spotting and defining a trend. Stats can be used to show trends or abused to create lies. What I find good about Climate.gov is the simple data presentation. Sure, there is an arbitrary selection of the Zero point for coloring bars, but is it really arbitrary? Typically that zero point line is simply the average value over a period of 1000s of years. It's normally stated in the legend.

However @Nik, the forest from the trees is that the fundamental data is there in the graphs of Climate.gov and what you present are misrepresentations and lies.

The Alchemist
1.3 / 5 (27) Nov 13, 2013
Deniers bounce back and forth between thousands of years, and, heck, weather...
The truth is measurable, stated plainly and unequivocably for even the most amatuer (no shame in that btw):
Has the total energy in the Earth increased?
If anyone can even propose a method whereby it has not, I shall be very impressed.
I'll still shoot holes through it, but I WILL be impressed!
NikFromNYC
1.2 / 5 (25) Nov 13, 2013
Howhot and The Alchemist, both anti-science name selectors, didn't get the PR firm tutored Hockey Stick Team memo that labeling lightly political debate foes "Teabaggers" and (Holocaust) "deniers" is now off the menu, here voiced by NASA's Gavin Schmidt who *evidently* works above Tom's Diner two blocks from me here in the Columbia University area, though in twenty years of dining out I've never seen the pudgy math major around in a sea of real Ivy League chatterbots:
http://tinypic.co...&s=5

There's something retrograde primal and filthy about knuckle dragging white trash Internet poo flingers who in medieval fashion chant on and on and on about Science being yet another Inquisition worthy religion! It's TRUTH they seek, and have evidently found, and now they have haloes and inconvenient facts become "lies." A data dude becomes a "Teabagger," and thus they alienate half the population of Western Civilization and hand that demographic to skeptics, almost for free.
NikFromNYC
1.2 / 5 (25) Nov 13, 2013
Oh rot, the comment-devoid ratings bot accounts here (see Activity tab of user profiles) have miscategorized poor one-star Alchemist! I'll boost you then, Alchemist.

SPOT THE SMOKE SCREEN: Alchemist parrots slick-haired, tobacco-farming, Arab petrodollar king Al Gore's workshop-tutored slander, that skeptics impossibly and insanely "deny" that warming is occurring, but odd enough it is that Gorebots impossibly and insanely deny in Soviet revisionist fashion the routine fact of life that climate continuously changes quite naturally, as anybody with Google and the ability to type GREENLAND ICE CORE can attest after seeing temperature spikes all over the place going back 8000 years.

Hate defines Gorebots, not compassionate activism. Gorebots are lowly losers, huddled masses of online stalkers who become eco-terrorists at night, burning down newly married couple's nearly finished new houses and mailing bombs to mere nanotechnology scientists, even.

Propaganda-induced psychopaths!
NikFromNYC
1.2 / 5 (24) Nov 13, 2013
Listen up world citizens, Howhot's literal guru Charley needs your ear!
http://youtu.be/tmPzLzj-3XY
NikFromNYC
1.2 / 5 (25) Nov 13, 2013
Instead of debate, the above Gorebots group bond via public displays of allegiance to gluttonous rage-a-holics Michael Mann, Michael Moore, and Al Gore.

Gore's mafia movie ready palace:
http://directorbl...-of.html

Gore's jet ski (on his yacht!):
http://www.youtub...AXEzx1Uo

Do cult members *ever* notice that their guru is a world class hypocrite? No, cult members do *not* notice that, do they? But now add a massive carbon footprint to a carbon cultist, and I'm sorry guys but it's just over the top hilarious how stupid you are making yourselves!
casualjoe
3.8 / 5 (4) Nov 13, 2013
you have already shown yourself as someone who manipulates data and cherry picks parts of stories to fit what's in your head, so I'm out from discussing gores wealth habits with you.
The Alchemist
1 / 5 (15) Nov 13, 2013
Deniers bounce back and forth between thousands of years, and, heck, weather...
The truth is measurable, stated plainly and unequivocably for even the most amatuer (no shame in that btw):
Has the total energy in the Earth increased?
If anyone can even propose a method whereby it has not, I shall be very impressed.
I'll still shoot holes through it, but I WILL be impressed!

Water_Prophet
1.2 / 5 (13) Nov 14, 2013
It doesn't take a prophet to predict this. Just a little patience and understanding of wind and water, fire and stone.
Egleton
1.4 / 5 (11) Nov 17, 2013
It all fits a pattern. We are growing bannanas here at 40 South. Date palms are doing well.
Howhot
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 18, 2013
SPOT THE SMOKE SCREEN: Alchemist parrots slick-haired, tobacco-farming, Arab petrodollar king Al Gore's workshop-tutored slander, ...

Blah-bla-blah etc etc. Typical denier tactics to ad-homen misdirect and to lie like the denying elk that @Nik is. Slander is a good description for your work @Nik. Every post seems like some sort of Deniers whiny bitch that only an oil company executive can love.

Let's go through this again; Here is the climate.gov website again;

http://climate.gov

If you just scroll down to the climate change dashboard, you will see graph after graph that shows 1) there is not cooling. Temperatures are increasing. 2) Sea level rise is increasing. 3) Sea ice is shrinking. 4) CO2 is increasing exponentially like a hockey-stick.

Which point would you like to deny?

ubavontuba
1 / 5 (14) Nov 18, 2013
Researchers find tie between global precipitation and global warming
Really? How did they do that, considering there's been no global warming for more than a dozen years?

http://www.woodfo....7/trend

Howhot
2.5 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2013
Really? How did they do that, considering there's been no global warming for more than a dozen years?

@Ubbatuba; What planet do you live on?

The Alchemist
1.5 / 5 (13) Nov 19, 2013
Sorry Howhot, wanted to give you a 5, touch-screen error.
Howhot
2 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2013
Thanks for admitting the this most grave error @Alchemist. Don't worry, I accidentally gave Ubba a one.

ubavontuba
1 / 5 (11) Nov 19, 2013
Really? How did they do that, considering there's been no global warming for more than a dozen years?
@Ubbatuba; What planet do you live on?
What planet are you living on that you would even ask?

ubavontuba
1.3 / 5 (12) Nov 19, 2013
both an intensification and redistribution of global precipitation," said Céline Bonfils, the other LLNL author. "The fact that we see both of these effects simultaneously in the observations is strong evidence that humans are affecting global precipitation
It's just both straightforward consequence of global warming no matter of its actual origin. I don't see any evidence of human action here.

If such evidence is missing, it just means, Mrs Celine is silly and/or she attempts for (silly) manipulation of publics. This has nothing to do with fact, that I do consider the possibility that the people affect the precipitation (with formation of aerosols) way more probable, than the possibility, they're responsible for global warming as such. But the evidence for it is not contained in the above article at all.
An excellent observation.

chris_wiegard_5
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 28, 2013
Pooh, those pesky warmist guys causing trouble again. I hate it when scientists say something new. Galileo with his Earth orbits the Sun nonsense, hated it. Darwin with that nonsense about evolution, hated it. HIV is actually a virus? hated it. Carbon dioxide traps heat in the sky? I hated that in the 1800s when that French guy figured it out, and I still hate it.......
Such childish denialist comments on this thread.