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Precipitation Over Land in Warm ENSO Years
Neng, S., Luwen, C. and Dongdong, X. 2002. A preliminary study on the global land annual precipitation associated with ENSO during 1948-2000. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 19: 993-1003.

What was done
Data from 1948 to 2000 were used to determine the effect of warm ENSO years on annual precipitation over the land area of the globe.

What was learned
Some areas of the globe were found to experience more rainfall in warm ENSO years, while other areas were found to experience less rainfall in warm ENSO years. However, in the words of the authors, "in warm event years, the land area where the annual rainfall was reduced is far greater than that where the annual rainfall was increased, and the reduction is more significant than the increase."

What it means
Although climate models nearly always predict more precipitation in a warming world, the data of this study depict just the opposite effect over the land area of the globe. In addition, the data of New et al. (2001) depict a similar precipitation response to warming over the oceanic portion of the planet located between 30S and 30N. Hence, with respect to one of the most basic of all climate-model predictions, there appears to be a substantial lack of vindication in the real world ... where it really counts.

New, M., Todd, M., Hulme, M. and Jones, P. 2001. Precipitation measurements and trends in the twentieth century. International Journal of Climatology 21: 1899-1922.

Reviewed 16 April 2003