Friday, March 20, 2009

The effect of climate change

What does climate change mean for the world? The recent National Geographic has an interesting piece on what it could mean for rainfall.

What's important to remember about climate change is that the weather is not going to (or has not already gotten) uniformally different, but that the change is in fact non-linear. In the context of rain,
A good general rule of thumb, Held [a scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University] says, is that "wet areas are going to get wetter, and dry areas drier." Since higher temperatures lead to increased evaporation, even areas that continue to receive the same amount of overall precipitation will become more prone to drought. This poses a particular risk for regions that already subsist on minimal rainfall or that depend on rain-fed agriculture.
So, just because worldwide temperature is increasing does not mean that Russia will suddenly have great cropland one day.

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