Climatic Change

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 257–276 | Cite as

Precipitation: A Parameter Changing Climate and Modified by Climate Change

  • U. Cubasch
  • R. Voss
  • U. Mikolajewicz


This paper discusses two aspects of climate modeling, the deep water formation in the North Atlantic and precipitation changes due to climate change caused by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. The deep water formation is strongly influenced by the precipitation, and the precipitation is affected by the concentration of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and by the atmospheric and oceanic circulation. The experiments discussed here have been performed independently to test the stability of the thermohaline circulation of the North Atlantic and to investigate changes in precipitation due to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The precipitation changes in a climate change environment are sufficient in some simulations to decrease the thermohaline circulation noticeably. However, it appears that the amount of freshwater needed to bring the circulation to a collapse is magnitudes larger than the anticipated change in precipitation due to anthropogenic activities within the next 100 years. The precipitation changes, on the other hand, might change regionally quite drastically towards more extreme situations, thereby putting additional stress on vegetation and enhancing soil erosion.


Precipitation Atmosphere Climate Change Change Environment Soil Erosion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Cubasch
    • 1
  • R. Voss
    • 1
  • U. Mikolajewicz
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für MeteorologieHamburgGermany

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