Energetic constraints on precipitation under climate change
O’Gorman, P. A., Allan, R. P., Byrne, M. P. and Previdi, M. (2012) Energetic constraints on precipitation under climate change. Surveys in Geophysics, 33 (3-4). pp. 585-608. ISSN 1573-0956
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s10712-011-9159-6
Energetic constraints on precipitation are useful for understanding the response of the hydrological cycle to ongoing climate change, its response to possible geoengineering schemes, and the limits on precipitation in very warm climates of the past. Much recent progress has been made in quantifying the different forcings and feedbacks on precipitation and in understanding how the transient responses of precipitation and temperature might differ qualitatively. Here, we introduce the basic ideas and review recent progress. We also examine the extent to which energetic constraints on precipitation may be viewed as radiative constraints and the extent to which they are confirmed by available observations. Challenges remain, including the need to better demonstrate the link between energetics and precipitation in observations and to better understand energetic constraints on precipitation at sub-global length scales.