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Title: Large differences in regional precipitation change between a first and second 2 K of global warming

For adaptation and mitigation planning, stakeholders need reliable information about regional precipitation changes under different emissions scenarios and for different time periods. A significant amount of current planning effort assumes that each K of global warming produces roughly the same regional climate change. By using 25 climate models, we compare precipitation responses with three 2 K intervals of global ensemble mean warming: a fast and a slower route to a first 2 K above pre-industrial levels, and the end-of-century difference between high-emission and mitigation scenarios. Here, we show that, although the two routes to a first 2 K give very similar precipitation changes, a second 2 K produces quite a different response. In particular, the balance of physical mechanisms responsible for climate model uncertainty is different for a first and a second 2 K of warming. Our results are consistent with a significant influence from nonlinear physical mechanisms, but aerosol and land-use effects may be important regionally.
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  1. Met Office Hadley Cenre, Exeter (United Kingdom)
  2. Univ. of Reading (United Kingdom). NCAS-Climate
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC). Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Earth Sciences; climate and earth system modelling; projection and prediction
OSTI Identifier: