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12.8.09

Scientists have created the first comprehensive visual atlas of global rainfall, which they claim shows the projections of downpour

around the world over the next century.

An international team, led by the Australian National University, has created the Atlas of the Global Water Cycle based on all of the models used by India's RK Pauchuri-headed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its report.

According to the scientists, the atlas contains 300 pages of global maps and tables showing current and projected measures of rainfall, evaporation and runoff.

The atlas illustrates the projections of each of the 20 computer models used by different countries to forecast future water cycles -- data drawn upon by the IPCC in its reporting on climate change.

Lead scientist Dr Michael Roderick said: "We know that as the world warms there is likely to be more rainfall on a global average basis. But where is this increased rainfall going to occur, and which areas might get drier?

"These are simple questions to ask, but it is surprisingly hard for an individual to get an answer, whether they're a farmer, civil engineer, teacher or citizen.

"As researchers active in the field we couldn't answer the question with certainty. In fact, until now we have never seen a compilation of the individual rainfall predictions made by all the different climate models."

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