Climate change may produce smaller-than-expected increases in rainfall in the world's monsoon regions over the coming decades, thanks to changes in land use.
More than 70% of the global population live in monsoon areas. Benjamin Quesada of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and his colleagues ran global climate models with and without projected deforestation and other land-use changes to compare how monsoon patterns might shift by the end of the century.
The models suggest that monsoon rain will generally become more intense in a warming world. But the projected increase was 30% smaller, on average, when the team accounted for changes in land use and land cover. Shifts in monsoon rainfall might affect regional water resources and agricultural yields, the authors say.
Geophys. Res. Lett. http://doi.org/bv38 (2016)