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2019-04-05. What Climate Models Get Wrong About Future Water Availability.

posted Apr 13, 2019, 4:44 PM by Alan Gould
By Emily Underwood, Eos/AGU. [https://eos.org/research-spotlights/what-climate-models-get-wrong-about-future-water-availability] For GSS Climate Change chapter 7. Excerpt: One of the most challenging questions about climate change is how Earth’s warming atmosphere will affect water availability across the globe. Climate models present a range of possible scenarios—some more extreme than others [https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/todays-drought-in-the-west-is-nothing-compared-to-what-may-be-coming/2015/02/12/0041646a-b2d9-11e4-854b-a38d13486ba1_story.html]—which can make it difficult for cities, states, and countries to plan ahead. Now, however, in a new study, Padrón et al. [https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2018GL080521] suggest a way to reduce uncertainty using precipitation patterns from the past. ...sometimes proposed in the past was that dry regions will get drier and wet regions will get wetter.... ...historically accurate models lacked many of the extreme changes that the full ensemble of climate models predicted.... Although the possibility of extreme drying in Europe, western North America, and South Africa remained, for example, these models predicted that it would be 5 times less likely to occur compared to the prediction by the full 36-model ensemble. ...previous projections of very extreme future changes in water availability were less likely to occur on more than 70% of Earth’s land surface. The historically skillful models held some other surprises, including a higher confidence of drying in the Amazon, where the 36-model ensemble predictions are inconclusive....