Humidity Seasonal Cycle Changes with Global Warming in United States Southwest

Anthropogenic climate change poses detrimental consequences to land, community, and human health. Global observations of land have shown increased surface temperatures and decreased relative humidity (RH) percentages over the last few decades, with variation at regional levels. This project explores the seasonal cycles of relative humidity and how it has changed in the past to further understand how it will be affected by continuous warming in the future. Previously, Michael Byrne and Paul O’Gorman (2018) recognized the land-ocean contrast warming, that drives global atmospheric patterns, was linked to dryness over land and warming over the ocean. This research provides an analysis of observed climatological changes in RH, specific humidity, and temperature from 1973-2021 using datasets from the Met Office Hadley Centre in one of the fastest warming regions, the United States Southwest. From this survey, we measure the variability between what is observed and what is projected with further warming. Climate modeling reliability is important in understanding the effects of a warming atmosphere, especially with the dire consequences that follow.