Increased Rainfall

The 3 to 5 percent prediction "seems small," Archer notes, "and perhaps it is." He adds that, for human beings, who need water to live, an increase in rainfall is much better than a decrease.2 Some researchers suggest that this small rainfall bump could be seriously underestimating the amount by which precipitation may increase, however. A study led by Frank Wentz at the research company Remote Sensing Systems, for example, found that over the past 20 years, as global temperatures have risen, precipitation has increased faster than any scientists expected. Thus, the study suggests that "all models used to predict global warming underestimate the rate at which precipitation increases in response to surface warming," according to University of Miami professor Brian Soden.3

Any increase in rainfall, big or small, is going to cause trouble for Bangladesh, where flooding already regularly causes serious damage. Bangladeshis may have gotten a hint of the future in 1998, when "heavy snows and rains in India and Nepal combined

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