Water is essential for life to exist on our planet, and an average of 39 centimeters of rain falls annually on Earth. The nature of the water cycle leads to water being evaporated into the atmosphere, which in time, must come down as precipitation. If you think that rain falls unevenly on the planet, you are completely right. In 12 days out of the year, the Earth receives the most rainfall throughout the year.
Wetter Than Ever
If you think storms and hurricanes are getting worse every year, you are not imagining things. Changing patterns in weather and the increased amount of precipitation dumped onto the planet are triggered by climate change. There has been more water falling at a single time since before the Industrial Revolution, and more is on its way.
According to sources like Climate Central, with every degree increase in temperature, the atmosphere can hold up to four percent more water vapor. Climate change is developing more intense storms that move more slowly before dissipating and increase the risk of severe flooding.
Embracing The New Normal
Greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane have hit record highs, triggering warmer temperatures. After 1995, the Earth has experienced some of the hottest years on record, and the mercury continues to rise. Unfortunately, a hotter planet is capable of disrupting the water cycle and may lead to longer periods of dry spells, followed by torrential downpours.
The new normal of intense weather patterns, extensive flooding, and loss of coastal regions is a side-effect of climate change. It is not expected that there will be more rainy days, but when it’s the rainy season, there will be more water released at record amounts.
Scientist Angeline Bandargras, who is based in Boulder, Colorado, and her Zurich-based colleague Reto Noti, studied the data collected from 185 meteorological stations around the world. The researchers conducted a simulation to project how much rainfall would take place by the year 2100.
Currently, half of the Earth’s rain and snowfall occur on the 12 most humid days of the year. Calculating for a continued release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and higher average temperatures, the scientists concluded that an increased amount of rainfall could take place in 11 days.
Droughts Or Deluge
The research of scientists Bandargras and Noti, support the projection that future hurricanes will be 15 to 35 percent more humid than they are today. As more water is collected during the evaporation stage of the water cycle, and humidity levels rise, the damages and loss of habitat and life caused by flooding will surely follow.
The threat of disruption to a fragile ecosystem balance is real, such as desert areas that are typically arid, receiving unexpected rainfall. Agriculture and crop production may not be unscathed, as a new normal of prolonged droughts, followed by heavy rains could hurt the food supply for humans and animals.
Here Comes The Rain
Increased temperatures do not solely impact the amount of rainfall and how many days it takes for precipitation to land. Increased evaporation also affects the water and nutrients in soil and plants.
Scientists around the world continue to conduct research focused on the water cycle, rainfall, and the influence of rising world temperatures. Humans must make an effort to slow down and halt climate change while bracing themselves for intense future weather patterns. When it rains, it pours.