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The Breaking of the Drought

The title comes from a poem written by Frederick J. Atwood more than 100 years ago about the end of a drought and the arrival of rain. The arrival of rain at a time of drought can be beautiful, but can also have potentially unwanted consequences. A new study provides further evidence that warming influences the frequency of extreme precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere based on observations and models. Such events are well-known to result in major changes in the landscape, as seen below in Zackenberg in Northeast Greenland. These erosional features are not a new phenomenon (e.g., they have been observed Zackenberg since mid 1990s), but the frequency and extent of erosion are likely to increase in the future with increased rain events.


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