Atmospheric scientists Richard Allan of the University of Reading in
England and Brian Soden of the University of Miami looked at satellite
records of daily rainfall stretching back to 1987 to see how warmer
temperatures had affected precipitation. That's one of the key climate
changes expected from rising greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.
The researchers specifically focused on El Niño, the warming of the
waters of the tropical Pacific that raises air pressure, changes
winds, and recurs every few years.
"It is very likely that heavy rainfall will become more common and
more intense in a warming world," Allan says. "It is too early to say
by how much real world changes in rainfall will surpass projections
from the climate models."