Changes in the hydrological conditions of the land surface have substantial impacts on society.
Yet assessments of observed continental dryness trends yield contradicting results. The concept that dry regions dry out further, whereas wet regions become wetter as the climate warms has been proposed as a simplified summary of expected as well as observed changes over land, although this concept is mostly based on oceanic data.
Here we present an analysis of more than combinations of various hydrological data sets of historical land dryness changes covering the period from to Each combination of data sets is benchmarked against an empirical relationship between evaporation, precipitation and aridity.
Those combinations that perform well are used for trend analysis. We find that over about three-quarters of the global land area, robust dryness changes cannot be detected. We conclude that aridity changes over land, where the potential for direct socio-economic consequences is highest, have not followed a simple intensification of existing patterns.
The future influence of climate change on tropical cyclones is likely to vary by region, but the specific characteristics of the changes are not yet well quantified and there is low confidence in region-specific projections of frequency
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