Wet places on the earth getting wetter and dry places get drier
London,Dec14:New research, published in the journal Scientific Reports provides solid evidence that the Earth’s wet regions are getting wetter and the dry regions are getting drier.
This is not a surprise, as climate modeling has been showing this same scenario under climate change, but at a faster rate than what the research team from the University of Southampton (UK) was able to determine.
In order to reach their conclusion, the researchers analyzed the salt concentration of the world’s oceans.
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, according to the EurekAlert report
The team found that wetter regions such as those found in Northern Europe are getting wetter and dry regions are getting drier by about 2 percent over the last 60 years. This process is called amplification of the water cycle.
Earlier research and climate modeling estimated that this amplification of the water cycle was happening at 7 percent per every one degree C. of global warming. However, this latest study found that it was closer to 3 to 4 percent, which is likely due to a weakening of the atmospheric circulation that transports freshwater from the dry and wet regions of the globe.
“Although we have found that this process is happening slower than first thought, if global warming exceeds 3°C, 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,” said Dr. Nikolaos Skliris, a Research Fellow at the University of Southampton who led the study.