Washington D.C.: A new study says that rising temperatures worldwide are changing not only weather systems, but also distribution of water around the globe.
Analysis of more than 40 years of water samples archived at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF) in New Hampshire tells a vivid tale of how the sources of precipitation have changed.
Over the years, there has been a dramatic increase, especially during the winter, of the amount of water that originated far to the north.
This study marked the first time scientists have used specific measurements to demonstrate how water sources are changing, especially in the northeastern United States.
According to the researchers, this study shows how climate change is altering the spatial patterns and amounts of precipitation, where it comes from and where it falls.
Such effects can drastically affect the availability of potable water and also contribute to the massive flooding we have seen in recent years.
As record warmer temperatures in the Arctic cause dramatic decreases in the depth and coverage of sea ice, the Arctic vortex has become less stable, occasionally spilling frigid air onto the eastern United States, such as occurred in October 2015 and February 2016, when areas from New York to Miami experienced record cold.
The altered circulation of moisture in the atmosphere drives changes in the global water cycle, causing, for example, Arctic water to fall as rain or snow in New Hampshire, some 2,500 miles to the south.
The study has been published in Scientific Reports.