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October 19 2012

Will climate change lead to more droughts?


Although climate change is expected to lead to slightly more rainfall at the global level, the timing and distribution of that rain is likely to change, increasing the chance of drought in some regions. The details are very difficult to predict, however. This is partly because regional climate impacts are strongly dependent on large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns like the jet stream, which are hard to model in climate simulations. There is some indication from climate modelling that the Mediterranean, Central America and Western Australia regions may experience reduced precipitation, but there is still considerable uncertainty as climate models do not all agree, because local features such as mountains and rainforests can be important, and because of the large range of natural variability.

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