Seven decades of climate change across Mexico
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Due to its geographical location, Mexico is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. However, we currently ignore the exact magnitude and particularities of past climate change in the Mexican territory and are missing a country-level spatially explicit analysis based on observed data. To fill this gap, I analyzed how temperature, precipitation and the water balance of Mexico changed over 1951-2017 at interannual and seasonal scales. My results show a clear national increment in temperature (+0.71 ºC) but no modification in annual mean precipitation. At the seasonal scale, the wet season (June-November) had higher rainfall (+31 mm) and no change was detectable on the dry season (December-May). However, when the full water balance was seasonally accounted for (precipitation minus potential evapotranspiration), the trend resulted in a wetter wet season and a much drier dry season across the country. Regionally, seasonal changes in water balance were larger in the area surrounding the Gulf of Mexico and positive in the Yucatan Peninsula and the central highlands. My results help explaining the recent increase in drought, storms and intense rainfall across Mexico and suggest even more extreme seasonal weather in the future if climate change exacerbates.
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