Sea Change in Salinity Heralds Shift in Rainfall
Scientists have detected a clear change in salinity of the world’s oceans and have found that the cycle that drives rainfall and evaporation has intensified more than thought because of global warming. The finding published in the journal Science, helps refine estimates of how different parts of the globe will be affected by increased rainfall or more intense droughts as the planet heats up, affecting crops, water supplies and flood defenses.
The research team reported clear changes in salinity patterns across the world’s oceans between 1950 and 2000. The global cycle of rainfall and evaporation of water from the land and surface of the ocean comprise the global water cycle, with some areas such as the tropics naturally wetter and others, such as large parts of Australia, the United States or northern Africa, drier. Some ocean regions are saltier, meaning less rainfall and others are fresher, meaning high rainfall, making salinity measurements a good way to measure changes in rainfall patterns.