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Creators/Authors contains: "Jain, Shaleen"

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  1. Abstract

    Numerous human and environmental systems are sensitive to the spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation, including agriculture, water supply, and ecosystems. Trends in observed precipitation form an important line of evidence to understand how changes may increase system vulnerabilities. Linear trends reported in US and global climate assessments reflect changes in mean annual precipitation. Mean trends may not reflect changes across other quantiles in the precipitation probability distribution, including the tails (very high and low precipitation levels), leading to systematic mischaracterization of climate risk. Here we reanalyze global annual precipitation using quantile regression to reveal overlooked trends. We find trends in the tails inconsistent with the mean in 44.4% of land area and 40.7% of rainfed agricultural regions. Previously undetected trends offer a more accurate view of the changing climate. This work enables reappraisals of risk aggregated over thresholds in human and environmental systems, enabling revaluation of threats and identification of appropriate adaptation strategies.