Variations in Precipitation at the North Pole Set to Increase Sharply


The climate warms, even more so in the Arctic, and with it there will be more precipitation.

However, the year-to-year variations in precipitation will also increase sharply, it has been found, and for a totally different reason than the average increase in Arctic precipitation. This is the conclusion of TU Delft researcher Jesse Reusen and colleagues from the KNMI and the universities of Wageningen and Groningen in an article in Science Advances on Wednesday 12 February.

As a Master's student, Jesse Reusen, currently a PhD candidate at TU Delft, was involved in this research at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI). ‘For my Master's thesis, I looked at temperature fluctuations in simulations of warm and cold climates, and with higher or lower CO2 values. We have now applied the method I used in a similar manner to analyse precipitation.’

Year-to-year fluctuations have enormous significance for extremes in weather and climate, and consequently for the effects of climate change. Generally, a particularly wet/dry/cold/warm year has more far-reaching repercussions than a succession of ‘normal’ years. In the Arctic, all climate changes, including those in variability, are far greater than in the rest of the world. The possible consequences of this will be felt in the Arctic as well in more temperate latitudes.

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