New Research from the University of Reading published in Environmental Research Letters investigates the impacts of climate change on the world’s water cycle. The research shows climate change is causing more extreme wet and dry periods, as the difference between precipitation and evaporation increases by 20% in some regions by 2100 based on scientific simulations. The consequence will be more severe flooding and droughts, cascading impacts on lives, livelihoods and complex systems such as agriculture and infrastructure.


The research concludes that rapid cuts in emissions are necessary to limit climate warming and the worsening of environmental extremes. However, the urgent need for improving predictions and planning for water resources to adapt to the changing water cycle is also vital.


This research follows a previous study published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences (Professor Emily Black, University of Reading), which found that flash droughts are projected to more than double in many regions over the 21st century.

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