By John D. Cox | Fri Mar 5, 2010 05:15 PM ET
Slowly but surely, a picture of climate change at the regional scale -- where it really matters -- is beginning to take shape.
Apart from the obvious warming at the high polar latitudes, which already is affecting Arctic sea ice, the rate of Greenland ice cap melting, and Antarctic ice shelves, new details are beginning to emerge about the impact of global warming in the Tropics -- the boiler-room of Earth's climate and weather.
This is the home of El Niño, and the generator of Asian monsoons, the towering cumulonimbus storms that deliver water vapor to the atmosphere and drive patterns of rainfall over much of the world.
In the March issue of the Journal of Climate, a team of University of Hawaii researchers led by meteorologist Shang-Ping Xie offers a preliminary look at what a relatively uniform warming does to a climate system that is chock o'block with regional patches of hot and cold and wet and dry. …