Climate change widening world’s wet-dry region divide

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London, Dec 13 (IANS) While the wet regions of the earth are getting wetter, the dry regions are getting even drier thanks to the warming climate, a new study says.

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, the study 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,” said lead researcher Nikolaos Skliris, Research Fellow at University of Southampton in Britain.

“Although we have found that this process is happening slower than first thought, if global warming exceeds 3 degrees 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 noted.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, analysed the saltiness 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.

The researchers used measurements of salinity throughout the global and deep oceans over the last 60 years to estimate how much global rainfall is changing.

The researchers found that the wet and dry region divide in the world is getting wider.

–IANS

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