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Droughts and wildfires in southwest: Global warming is drying up the North American monsoon

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October 9, 2017 Princeton University read full ScienceDaily article here

Previous researchers had concluded that global warming was simply delaying the North American monsoon, which brings summer rains to the southwestern US and northwestern Mexico. But a new, high-resolution climate model that corrects for persistent sea surface temperature (SST) biases now accurately reflects current rainfall conditions and demonstrates that the monsoon is not simply delayed, but that the region’s total rainfall is facing a dramatic reduction

..most of those droughts are attributed to the change in winter storms, said Pascale. “The storm track is projected to shift northward, so these regions might get less rain in winter, but it was very uncertain what happens to the monsoon, which is the other contributor to the rains of the region. We didn’t know, and it’s crucial to know,” he said…[they quantified] the monsoon response to the doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, increased temperatures and other individual changes…

Salvatore Pascale, William R. Boos, Simona Bordoni, Thomas L. Delworth, Sarah B. Kapnick, Hiroyuki Murakami, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Wei Zhang. Weakening of the North American monsoon with global warming. Nature Climate Change, 2017; DOI: 10.1038/nclimate3412

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