Implications of a decrease in the precipitation area for the past and the future

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Video in TIB AV-Portal: Implications of a decrease in the precipitation area for the past and the future

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Implications of a decrease in the precipitation area for the past and the future
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The total area with 24 hrs precipitation has shrunk by 7% between 50°S–50°N over the period 1998–2016, according to the satellite-based Tropical Rain Measurement Mission data. A decrease in the daily precipitation area is an indication of profound changes in the hydrological cycle, where the global rate of precipitation is balanced by the global rate of evaporation. This decrease was accompanied by increases in total precipitation, evaporation, and wet-day mean precipitation. If these trends are real, then they suggest increased drought frequencies and more intense rainfall. Satellite records, however, may be inhomogeneous because they are synthesised from a number of individual missions with improved technology over time. A linear dependency was also found between the global mean temperature and the 50°S–50°N daily precipitation area with a slope value of −17 × 106 km 2∕°C. This dependency was used with climate model simulations to make future projections which suggested a continued decrease that will strengthen in the future. The precipitation area evolves differently when the precipitation is accumulated over short and long time scales, however, and there has been a slight increase in the monthly precipitation area while the daily precipitation area decreased. An increase on monthly scale may indicate more pronounced variations in the rainfall patterns due to migrating rain-producing phenomena.

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