In face of changes in precipitation variability, climatic extremes
What does Kansas weather and life have in common? In the words of Forrest Gump, both are like a box of chocolates. "Youre never sure what youre going to get." Rain or drought. Drought or rain.
Concerns about future climate changes resulting from human activities often focus on the effects of increases in average air temperatures or changes in average precipitation amounts. But climate models also predict increases in climate extremes such as more frequent large rainfall events or more severe droughts. This aspect of climate change can lead to an increase in climatic variability without accompanying changes in average temperatures or total precipitation amounts, according to a report by a team of researchers at Kansas State University.
The team, headed by Alan Knapp, a university distinguished professor of biology, and John Blair and Phil Fay, professors of biology, has been studying how grasslands respond to increases in the variability of rainfall patterns to better understand how rapidly and to what extent ecosystems might respond to a future with a more extreme climate. Their findings appear in the latest issue of Science.
Alan Knapp | EurekAlert!
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