Justin Gillis quotes Dr. Eric Fischer: “If efforts to control emissions are unsuccessful, and temperatures by the end of the century rise as much as some experts fear, both heat and precipitation extremes will skyrocket, with human-caused global warming likely to be responsible for half the precipitation extremes and perhaps 90 percent of the heat extremes in that climate, the researchers found.
The change being seen today in precipitation patterns was predicted decades ago, based on the elementary fact that warmer air can hold more moisture. Other researchers have found that the increase is leading to heavier rainstorms across large parts of the United States, with the biggest effect occurring in the Northeast. At the same time, warmer temperatures are worsening the effects of droughts when they do occur, as in California over the last few years.
“The bottom line is that things are not that complicated,” Dr. Knutti said. “You make the world a degree or two warmer, and there will be more hot days. There will be more moisture in the atmosphere, so that must come down somewhere.” ”