Precipitation, either liquid or solid, is the most important climate variable directly affecting humans. Through either its duration, intensity and frequency or its lack of occurrence, it influences the supply of water, causes risks to life and livelihoods when associated with floods, landslides and droughts, and affects infrastructure planning, leisure activities and more. Precipitation is closely related to cloud properties, a number of terrestrial ECVs and to ocean-surface salinity. It is indicative of the release of latent heat within the energy cycle, as well as being at the heart of the hydrological cycle.
Estimates of liquid and solid precipitation
Figure: Annual global climatology of accumulated solid and liquid precipitation in mm based on data of the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC).