Global warming speeding up world's water cycle
Rising temperatures are accelerating the world's water cycle and triggering natural disasters such as droughts and floods, according to a new report led by Australian researchers. The report, published in Nature journal, released to the public on 24 February 2022, said.
What the report said
- The report said that the hotter temperatures are speeding up the constant cycle of freshwater between the clouds, the land and the ocean, leading to more extreme weather conditions with the world's wetter areas becoming even more soaked and the dry regions becoming even more parched.
- Previously, changes to the cycle had been difficult to directly observe, as about 80 per cent of global rainfall and evaporation occurs over the ocean.
- The researchers had analysed historical data from 1970 to 2014 to monitor the changing patterns of salt in the ocean, to estimate how much ocean freshwater had moved from the equator to the poles during that time.
- Their new findings showed that between two and four times more freshwater had moved than climate models had anticipated.
- The researchers believe the amount of freshwater that was transported from the equator to the poles during those years had exceeded predictions by up to 77,000 cubic km.