Influence of the intensification of the major oceanic moisture sources on continental precipitation

Gimeno L., Nieto R., Drumond A., Castillo R., Trigo R.M.
Geophysical Research Letters, 40,1 - 8, doi:10.1002/grl.50338, 2013

Download PDF


In this study, we address two key issues in the hydrological cycle that have remained elusive: 1) to what extent can we expect climate change to affect the transport of moisture? and, in particular, 2) how will the changes in the sourcesí intensity (that is, more evaporation) affect the distribution of continental precipitation? This was achieved using a multimodel ensemble that allowed delimiting those oceanic areas where climate change will likely lead to an increase in evaporation (E) minus precipitation (P). Finally, a sophisticated Lagrangian model was used to identify which continental regions will be affected by changes in precipitation (EP<0) originating in each oceanic moisture source. We find that in boreal winter, wide sectors of Europe, Asia, Middle East, South America, and southern Africa are affected, but North America emerges as the most affected continental region. In austral winter, the largest changes are confined to northern and Central America.