Global warming can intensify tropical rainfall
With every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature, tropical regions will see 10 percent heavier rainfall extremes, with possible impacts for flooding in populous regions. This is an estimate given by a MIT study based on model simulations and observations. Extreme precipitation in the tropics comes in many forms: thunderstorm complexes, flood-inducing monsoons and wide-sweeping cyclones like the recent Hurricane Isaac.
Global warming is expected to intensify extreme precipitation, but the rate at which it does so in the tropics has remained unclear - until now. "The study includes some populous countries that are vulnerable to climate change," said Paul O'Gorman, the Victor P. Starr Career Development Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, "and impacts of changes in rainfall could be important there." O'Gorman found that, compared to other regions of the world, extreme rainfall in the tropics responds differently to climate change.