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Ocean Circulation and PNW Rainfall Patterns

Posted: November 5th, 2013

ocean

The world’s oceans and atmosphere are really one large, coupled system. As underwater currents shift, so do global weather patterns. Recent research published in Nature Geoscience and co-authored by University of Washington scientists sheds new light on the phenomenon and suggests that climate change could significantly alter the global distribution of rainfall.

Changes in precipitation are among the more uncertain climate change impacts in the Pacific Northwest, in part because of ocean-atmospheric interaction just offshore. This study helps to remove some of that uncertainty and simulates increased rainfall across much of North America, including Seattle. For more information, please contact SPU’s Climate Change team.