Dry lands getting drier, wet getting wetter: Earths water cycle intensifying with atmospheric warming
Dry lands getting drier, wet getting wetter: Earths water cycle intensifying with atmospheric warminghttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120521104631.htm
In a paper just published in the journal Science, Australian scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California, reported changing patterns of salinity in the global ocean during the past 50 years, marking a clear fingerprint of climate change.
Lead author, Dr Paul Durack, said that by looking at observed ocean salinity changes and the relationship between salinity, rainfall and evaporation in climate models, they determined the water cycle has strengthened by four per cent from 1950-2000. This is twice the response projected by current generation global climate models.
"Salinity shifts in the ocean confirm climate and the global water cycle have changed.
"The ocean matters to climate -- it stores 97 per cent of the world's water; receives 80 per cent of the all surface rainfall and; it has absorbed 90 per cent of the Earth's energy increase associated with past atmospheric warming," said co-author, Dr Richard Matear of CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship.
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- P. J. Durack, S. E. Wijffels, R. J. Matear. Ocean Salinities Reveal Strong Global Water Cycle Intensification During 1950 to 2000. Science, 2012; 336 (6080): 455 DOI: 10.1126/science.1212222