I discovered this excellent video animation on climate change from NOAA. In it, we see why the dry parts of our planet will see less rain and the wet parts of our planet more rain.
This video simplifies and illuminates the very complex issue of climate change. In just a few minutes, it shows how precipitation amounts changed during the 20th century and how they’re expected to change during the 21st century. This is an issue which has been highly politicized, but no matter where you stand on why it’s occurring or who is responsible, the fact is, it’s happening. Even the USDA updated their Hardiness Zone Map this year to reflect warmer average temperatures everywhere. And nearly every gardener is growing something which isn’t supposed to be hardy in their area, yet it survives every winter.
The animation is based on climate model experiments conducted by NOAA, the branch of the U.S. government that monitors climate, manages fisheries, restores coastal areas and supports marine commerce.
From the voiceover:
“In response to increasing greenhouse gas levels, air temperature rises. As the atmosphere warms, it’s capable of holding more water vapor. Computer climate models as well as observations indicate that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is increasing.
“As the planet warms, the atmosphere pulls more water out of the sub tropics as evaporation. Much of that water condenses into clouds and is transported toward the poles by the winds.
“So as temperatures rise, there’s an increase in the total amount of water evaporating and precipitating over the Earth, a strengthening of the global hydrologic cycle. Combined with wind pattern changes that cause the entire atmospheric circulation to shift pole-ward (toward the north and south poles), the global hydrologic cycle changes as the climate warms. “
A vicious circle.