The multi-model mean spatial scale for local water budget closure (LWB—for which precipitation roughly equals evaporation), energy budget closure (LEB—for which precipitation roughly equals the sum of the atmospheric radiative heating rate and surface sensible heat flux), the combined water and energy budget scale (LWB+EB) and the scale of changes in precipitation (LδP) as a function of the degree of closure or relative precipitation change. As all quantities are normalised locally by historical P (Eqs. 6–8), the x-axis represents a similar amount of water for all. The global mean and the tropical mean are presented for each scale. The vertical lines represent the standard deviation of the 27 different CMIP5 models.