Has Climate change started widening world's wet-dry region divide?
A new study has revealed that the wet regions of the Earth are getting wetter and dry regions are getting drier due to global warming.
London: A new study has revealed that the wet regions of the Earth are getting wetter and dry regions are getting drier due to global warming.
As per researchers from University of Southampton in the UK , the regions which are relatively wet, like Northern Europe, are getting wetter and dry regions are getting drier -- both by about two per cent over the last 60 years.
And the process is called amplification of the water cycle.
More rain and outflow from rivers in a region of an ocean means sea water gets diluted and therefore becomes less salty.
More evaporation in another region takes away fresh water and leaves salt behind making that region more saline.
Researchers used measurements of salinity throughout the global and deep oceans over the last 60 years to estimate how much global rainfall is changing.
Previous research indicates that amplification of the water cycle is happening at seven per cent per one degree Celsius of global warming.
The new study estimates that amplification happens at about three to four per cent per one degree Celsius.
The findings said that it is probably due to a weakening of the atmospheric circulation which transports freshwater from the dry to wet regions of the globe.
Nikolaos Skliris from the University of Southampton said , ‘’Our findings match what has been predicted by models of a warming climate; as the world gets warmer wet regions will continue to get wetter and dry regions will continue to get drier".
"Although we have found that this process is happening slower than first thought, if global warming exceeds three degree Celsius wet regions will likely get more than 10 per cent wetter and dry regions more than 10 per cent drier, which could have disastrous implications for river flows and agriculture," Skliris added.
He further added, "The agreement between climate models and observations over the recent past is another important finding of this study because it adds confidence to climate model projections of water cycle amplification under greenhouse gas emission scenarios" .
The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
(With Agency inputs)