Intensity of hydrological cycles in warmer climates

Fanglin Yang, Arun Kumar, Michael E. Schlesinger, Wanqiu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fact that the surface and tropospheric temperatures increase with increasing CO2 has been well documented by numerical model simulations; however, less agreement is found for the changes in the intensity of precipitation and the hydrological cycle. Here, it is demonstrated that while both the radiative heating by increasing CO2 and the resulting higher sea surface temperatures contribute to warm the atmosphere, they act against each other in changing the hydrological cycle. As a consequence, in a warmer climate forced by increasing CO2 the intensity of the hydrological cycle can be either more or less intense depending upon the degree of surface warming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2419-2423
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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