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Human contribution to more-intense precipitation extremes


  • Seung-Ki Min

    (Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario M3H5T4, Canada)

  • Xuebin Zhang

    (Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario M3H5T4, Canada)

  • Francis W. Zwiers

    (Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario M3H5T4, Canada
    Present address: Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8W2Y2, Canada.)

  • Gabriele C. Hegerl

    (School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh)


Human input to extreme rainfall A significant effect of anthropogenic activities has already been detected in observed trends in temperature and mean precipitation. But to date, no study has formally identified such a human fingerprint on extreme precipitation — an increase in which is one of the central theoretical expectations for a warming climate. Seung-Ki Min and colleagues compare observations and simulations of rainfall between 1951 and 1999 in North America, Europe and northern Asia. They find a statistically significant effect of increased greenhouse gases on observed increases in extreme precipitation events over much of the Northern Hemisphere land area.

Suggested Citation

  • Seung-Ki Min & Xuebin Zhang & Francis W. Zwiers & Gabriele C. Hegerl, 2011. "Human contribution to more-intense precipitation extremes," Nature, Nature, vol. 470(7334), pages 378-381, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:nat:nature:v:470:y:2011:i:7334:d:10.1038_nature09763
    DOI: 10.1038/nature09763

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