Parts of the Caribbean and Central America are likely to experience a significant summer drying trend by the middle of this century, UCLA atmospheric scientists will report in the April 18 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Their research is based on an analysis of 10 global climate computer simulations, from the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, and from Australia, Britain, France, Germany and Japan. (The study is published this week in the PNAS online edition.)
The majority of the computer models calls for a substantial decrease in tropical rainfall to occur by 2054, or sooner under some of the models, said J. David Neelin, UCLA professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, a member of UCLAs Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, and lead author of the study. By the end of this century, the models call for a decrease in summer rainfall of 20 percent or more in parts of the Caribbean and Central America, Neelin said. The winter change in rainfall in this region is not dramatic, added Neelin, who noted that summer and winter rains occur by very different climate phenomena. If the models prove correct, the decreased rainfall would be a consequence of human-induced global warming, he said.
Stuart Wolpert | EurekAlert!
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