Climate change: Number of ‘dry days’ could go up

Washington, March 15: The impact of climate change will alter the nature of how rain and snow falls and by the end of 21st century the number of days without rain could go up by 30 days a year in some parts of the world, research shows.

“Areas that are prone to dry conditions will receive their precipitation in narrower windows of time,” study results showed.

Regions such as the Amazon, Central America, Indonesia, and all Mediterranean climate regions around the world would likely see the greatest increase in the number of “dry days” per year, said the study.

“Looking at changes in the number of dry days per year is a new way of understanding how climate change will affect us that goes beyond just annual or seasonal mean precipitation changes, and allows us to better adapt to and mitigate the impacts of local hydrological changes,” said Suraj Polade, a postdoctoral researcher who works with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University California San Diego.

The scientists studied 28 climate models for their research.

“Changes in intensity of precipitation events and duration of intervals between those events will have direct effects on vegetation and soil moisture,” said Stephen Jackson, director of the US Department of the Interior Southwest Climate Science Center.

One of the implications of this finding is that annual rainfall could become less reliable in drying regions as annual averages will be calculated over a smaller number of days, Polade said.

On the other hand, other regions of the world which are climatologically wet are likely to receive more frequent precipitation, the study showed.

This analysis advances a trend in climate science to understand climate change on the level of daily weather and on finer geographic scales.

The study appeared in the journal Scientific Reports.