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Understanding the distributional changes in the global precipitation for 20th, 21st and 22nd century

PI: Rajiv Prasad
Institution: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Additional Investigators: Shaleen Jain
Abstract:
Historical trends in the global land precipitation, and potential trends into the future imply major socioeconomic consequences for the water, agriculture and other sectors. However, a key issue in quantifying the precipitation trends is a full characterization of empirical probability distribution of precipitation. Analysis of observations indicate that gross measures, such as linear trends, often mask the underlying nature of distributional changes. Consequently, similar and/or disparate trends in the upper and lower tails of the precipitation distribution, that may have origins in the natural and/or anthropogenic forcing of the climate are not well quantified and understood. In this project, the focus is on developing analysis methodologies that provide robust estimates of the distributional changes in the global precipitation, at the same time diagnosing the potential role of oceanic temperatures, secular trends, and regional precipitation trends stemming from coupled ocean-atmospheric processes on interannual and longer time scales.
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