Climate Change Impacts on Precipitation and Temperature

Authored by: Marina Baldi

Handbook of Drought and Water Scarcity

Print publication date:  July  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781498731041
eBook ISBN: 9781315226781
Adobe ISBN:


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The climate of a region is defined as its average weather, and the climate of Earth is given by the average of all the regional climates on the planet. Climate change is a change in the typical or average weather of a particular region on the Earth and it will affect the average annual rainfall and the mean temperature for a given month or season for that region. In a similar way, climate change of our planet is a change of the climate system when considered over long periods of time (more than a few decades) that results in a change of the mean temperature and precipitation patterns at the global scale for a given month or season or at the annual scale, regardless of causes. Today, climate change is one of the major challenges that increase considerably the stress on our societies and on the environment: changes in weather patterns affect food production, rising sea levels increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, desertification processes favor unprecedented population migration, and increased water scarcity and drought amplify the risk of conflicts. In this respect, it is no longer relevant to discuss whether or not our climate is changing, but rather, how fast these changes will occur. The main aim of this chapter is to draw a general picture of the changes in precipitation and temperatures induced by climate change at a global scale, though it does not pretend to discuss the causes of climate change, summarizing the most recent findings published in scientific articles and in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

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