Possibly, Arctic warming may lead to a drought in other regions
Climatic changes can be the initial point of all the other natural calamities especially drought. Global warming can be a huge threat to make our lives sustainable after some years. The warming of the Arctic regions has led to the drought in other parts of the regions surrounded by it. Here, you can learn about the interlinking of climate change and the drought condition. When the Arctic warmed after the ice age 10,000 years ago, a perfect condition for drought was created. The research led by a University of Wyoming scientist says that the similar changes could be experienced today because the warming Arctic minimises the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles. This, in turn, results in less precipitation, more vulnerable cyclones and lower mid-latitude westerly wind flow, the main thing for prolonged drought.
The temperature difference between the tropics and the poles creates a lot of weather. When those opposite temperatures are deeper, it results in more precipitation, more durable cyclones and more sturdy wind flow. However, due to the Arctic ice melting and warming up the poles, those disparate temperatures are becoming closer. (1)
The analysis shows that, when the Arctic is warmer, the jet stream and other wind patterns tend to be weaker. The temperature difference in the Arctic and the tropics is less steep. The change brings less precipitation to the mid-latitudes.
The new study is titled as Mid-Latitude Net Precipitation Decreased With Arctic Warming During the Holocene.
The Nature paper takes a global approach and relates the history of severe dry periods of temperature changes. Importantly, when temperatures have changed in similar ways to the warming of the Arctic, the mid-latitudes — particularly places like Wyoming and other parts around arctic regions would be dried out. The climate models anticipate similar changes in the future. (2)
Currently, the northern high latitudes are warming at rates that are double the global average. This will decrease the equator-to-pole temperature gradient to values comparable with the early to middle Holocene Period. Geological evidence was helping to estimate how dry conditions have been in the past 10,000 years. The research included three water bodies in Wyoming: Lake of the Woods, located above Dubois; Little Windy Hill Pond in the Snowy Range; and Rainbow Lake in the Beartooth Mountains. Lakes are natural recorders of wet and dry conditions. When lakes rise or lower, it leaves geological evidence behind.
The researchers’ Holocene temperature analysis included 236 records from 219 sites. During the past 10,000 years, many of the lakes studied were lower earlier in history than today. Wyoming had several thousand years where a number of lakes dried up, and sand dunes were active where they now have vegetation. It expands to the East Coast, it is a wet landscape today. But 10,000 years ago, the East Coast was nearly as dry as the Great Plains. (3)
It showed the evolution of the tropics-to-pole temperature difference from three time periods: 100 years ago, 2,000 years ago and 10,000 years ago. For the last 100 years, many atmospheric records facilitated the analysis but, for the past 2,000 years or 10,000 years, there were fewer records available. Tree rings can help to expand studies to measure temperatures over the past 2,000 years, but lake deposits, cave deposits and glacier ice were studied to record prior temperatures and precipitation. The geological evidence provides an excellent test. (4)
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