The rate of extreme weather events occurring around the world is increasing as a result of climate change.
Some two-thirds of land on Earth will face a “wetter and more variable’’ hydroclimate on daily to multi-year time scales, meaning wider swings between wet and dry extremes, the researchers wrote in a study published in the Science Advances journal.
The scientists also warned that one-third of the world’s total land area would become drier.
The rate of extreme precipitation events poses an additional threat to infrastructure and to society in general, according to the international team of scientists.
Above all, global warming was making the climate more unbalanced “more extreme in both wet and dry conditions,’’ according to the team.
The team was led by Wenxia Zhang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
“The hydrological cycle is intensifying as the climate warms, with global mean precipitation increasing by 1 to 3 per cent per degree rise of surface air temperature,’’ the study said, based on an assessment of earlier studies.
However, the trend is not uniform and extreme precipitation could increase even more if there was enough water in the atmosphere in the regions.
The weather in wetter areas, such as Indian monsoon regions, was likely to become more variable, the study said, with an increase in heavy precipitation, among other effects.