A recent study has brought to light the extensive impact that climate change could have on global precipitation patterns, potentially affecting billions of people worldwide.
The study, published in Nature Communications, reveals that changes in rainfall patterns due to climate change could lead to significantly drier or wetter conditions for vast segments of the global population.
The research indicates that under an intermediate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions scenario, about 3 billion people, or 38% of the current global population, might face major changes in precipitation patterns by the century's end.
This scenario could see 266.52 million people experiencing drier conditions and a staggering 2.76 billion facing wetter conditions. However, under a high GHG emissions scenario, the number of affected individuals could rise to 5 billion, or 65.6% of the global population.
These shifts in precipitation are expected to have profound implications for extreme weather events, including floods and wildfires. The study highlights that regions across the Earth's landmass, already grappling with climate change effects, are likely to experience robust wetting and drying trends.
Areas such as Mediterranean Europe, North Africa, central America, the Caribbean, southern South America, eastern Brazil, the Amazon, and Western Australia are projected to see significant drying. In contrast, regions like Asia, Northern Europe, northwestern United States, and central Africa might witness substantial increases in rainfall.
The study utilized multiple climate models to project these changes under an intermediate-to-high emissions envelope.
It also focused on regional concerns, particularly in North India, where a decline in post-monsoon rainfall and minimal winter snowfall have been linked to a decrease in the intensity of western disturbances, a pattern influenced by evolving climate conditions.