The world's tropical zone is expanding, and we should all be worried

Posted by K R on

The Tropics are defined as the area of Earth where the Sun is directly overhead at least once a year - the zone between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. However, tropical climates occur within a larger area about 30 degrees either side of the Equator. Earth's dry subtropical zones lie adjacent to this broad region. It is here that we find the great warm deserts of the world. Earth's bulging waistline Earth's tropical atmosphere is growing in all directions, leading one commentator to cleverly call this Earth's "bulging waistline". Since 1979, the planet's waistline been expanding poleward by 56 kilometres to 111 kilometres per decade in both hemispheres. Future climate projections suggest this expansion is likely to continue, driven largely by human activities – most notably emissions of greenhouse gases and black carbon, as well as warming in the lower atmosphere and the oceans. If the current rate continues, by 2100 the edge of the new dry subtropical zone would extend from roughly Sydney to Perth. As these dry subtropical zones shift, droughts will worsen and overall less rain will fall in most warm temperate regions. Read More: ScienceAlert

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