Feeds

Study finds water cycle accelerating with warming

Wet gets wetter, dry gets drier

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Climate models are inaccurate, but not in a comforting way: that’s the conclusion of an ocean salinity study conducted by CSIRO and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which indicates that changes in the water cycle are running faster than models predicted.

Based on the relationship between salinity, evaporation and rainfall, the scientists have concluded that the water cycle strengthened by four percent between 1950 and 2000 – which is double the rate predicted in current climate models.

The scientists, led by Dr Paul Durack at LLNL, also supports the idea that with a warming climate, wet regions are likely to get wetter, with a corresponding drying trend in already dry regions.

Durack says the study found “robust evidence of an intensified global water cycle at a rate of about eight percent per degree of surface warming”.

An enhancement of the water cycle, he said, is driven by the ability of warmer air to hold and redistribute more moisture.

The study, published in Science (abstract here), was designed to overcome the ambiguity of land-based observations of the water cycle. Salinity provides a good proxy for both rainfall and evaporation, and with a fleet of 3,500 profilers now in the field, the researchers are able to work with a global data set.

Moreover, as Durack points out, oceans receive 80 percent of the world’s rainfall, and have absorbed about 90 percent of the heat added to the Earth due to atmospheric warming.

While the error margin in Durack’s prediction is high (water cycle accelerating 8 percent plus-or-minus 5 percent per degree of atmospheric warming), even at the low end, he says, acceleration of the water cycle would have serious implications for freshwater availability. &reg

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality
Life had just begun, code error means Russia's gone and thrown it all away
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.