Мобильный 1 Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022
123456789101112131415161718192021
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
News Every Day |

Devastating Colorado fires cap a year of climate disasters in 2021, with one side of the country too wet, the other dangerously dry



Alongside a lingering global pandemic, the year 2021 was filled with climate disasters, some so intense they surprised even the scientists who study them.

Extreme rainstorms turned to raging flash floods that swept through mountain towns in Europe, killing over 200 people. Across Asia, excessive rainfall inundated wide areas and flooded subway stations in China. Heat waves shattered records in the Pacific Northwest, Europe and the Arctic. Wildfires swept through communities in California, Canada, Greece and Australia.

The area around Boulder, Colorado, was so unusually dry on Dec. 30, 2021, that a powerful wind storm sent grass fires racing through neighborhoods in Superior and Louisville, burning hundreds of homes in a matter of hours. Officials said the winds were so strong, there was little firefighters could do but evacuate homes and businesses in the fires’ paths.

In the U.S. alone, damage from the biggest climate and weather disasters is expected to total well over US$100 billion in 2021. Many of these extreme weather events have been linked to human-caused climate change, and they offer a glimpse of what to expect in a rapidly warming world.

In the U.S., something in particular stood out: a sharp national precipitation divide, with one side of the country too wet, the other too dry.

As a climate scientist, I study the impact of global warming on precipitation and the water cycle. Here’s what happened with precipitation in the U.S. in 2021 and why we’re likely to see similar scenarios in the future.

The east-west weather divide

The eastern U.S. weathered storm after storm in 2021. Record rainfall in Tennessee triggered deadly flash flooding in August. The remnants of Hurricane Ida merged with another front days after the hurricane hit Louisiana and became so intense they set rainfall records and flooded subway stations and basement apartments in New York and Pennsylvania, with devastating consequences. Severe storms hit several states with deadly tornadoes in December.

Almost the entire West, meanwhile, was in some stage of drought, helping to fuel wildfires that swept through forests and towns.

This kind of east-west weather divide can be enhanced by La Niña, a periodical phenomenon fueled by Pacific Ocean temperatures that tends to leave the Southwest drier than normal and the North and much of the eastern half of the U.S. wetter.

But something else is going on: Global warming fuels both dryness and extreme rainfall.

Several cars and a large pickup truck are piled up against a bridge after being swept downstream by a flood.

Flash flooding swept away cars and damaged homes in Tennessee in August 2021.

AP Photo/John Amis

3 impacts of global warming on rainfall

Three things in particular happen to precipitation when the planet warms.

1) Global warming increases evaporation, leading to more drying of land and plants and also more overall precipitation.

Higher temperature increases evaporation from Earth’s surface, drying out vegetation and soils, which can fuel wildfires. It also increases the atmosphere’s capacity to hold moisture at a rate of about 7% per degree Celsius that the planet warms. With more moisture evaporating, global precipitation is expected to increase, but this increase is not uniform.

2) Global warming leads to more intense precipitation.

With higher temperature, more moisture is needed to reach the condensation level to form precipitation. As a result, light precipitation will be less common. But with more moisture in the atmosphere, when storm systems do develop, the increased humidity leads to heavier rainfall events.

In addition, storm systems are fueled by latent heat – the energy released into the atmosphere when water vapor condenses to liquid water. Increased moisture in the atmosphere also enhances latent heat in storm systems, increasing their intensity.

Research shows that both the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events has increased since the 1950s over most land areas.

People walk down stairs into a flooded subway station.

The remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded subway stations in New York City in September 2021.

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

3) Global warming tends to make wet places wetter and dry places drier.

Precipitation is not distributed evenly over the planet because of the global atmosphere circulation pattern. This global circulation brings moisture to places where winds come together, such as the tropical regions where we find most of the world’s rainforests, and away from places where winds diverge, such as the midlatitudes where most world’s deserts are located.

Assuming no significant changes in global wind patterns, increases in evaporation and moisture will mean more moisture is transported from dry areas to wet areas and into the storm tracks at higher latitudes. Global warming could also potentially change the global circulation pattern, causing a shift in the world’s wet and dry regions.

Rows of dead trees lie on their sides in a flat field.

A California farmer pulled out almond groves in June 2021 because of a lack of water to irrigate them.

Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Mountains, moisture and the east-west divide

These dynamics are also affected by local conditions, such as the shape of the land, the types of plants on it and the presence of major water bodies.

The western U.S., with the exception of the West Coast, is dry in part because it lies in the rain shadow of mountains. The westerly wind from the Pacific Ocean is forced upward by the mountain ranges in the West. As it moves up, the air cools and precipitation forms on the windward side of the mountains. By the time the wind reaches the leeward side of the mountains, the moisture has already rained out. As the wind descends the mountains, the air warms up, further reducing the relative humidity.

Higher temperature in areas like these where the moisture supply is already limited means less humidity in the air, leading to less rain. Higher temperature and less precipitation would also reduce snow packs in the mountains and cause earlier melt in spring. All these changes are likely to increase aridity in the West.

People looking from a viewing platform at Lake Mead, where a white ring on the stone walls shows how far water has dropped below normal.

The ‘bathtub ring’ around Lake Mead in July 2021 reflected record low water levels in the Colorado River reservoir, which fell below 35% capacity and triggered water use restrictions.

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

The eastern U.S., on the other hand, receives abundant moisture from the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico carried by the easterly trade wind. With abundant moisture supply, increasing temperature means more moisture in the atmosphere, leading to more precipitation and stronger storms.

This is what years of precipitation records show and what is projected for future precipitation based on climate models. Both show a decrease in annual precipitation in the West, likely meaning more long periods of drought, and an increase in the East with global warming.

[Read The Conversation’s newsletters to understand the world. Sign up today.]

This article was updated Dec. 30, 2021, with the fires in Boulder County, Colorado.The Conversation

Shuang-Ye Wu, Professor of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, University of Dayton

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.









Read also

Royals will ‘breathe a sigh of relief’ if Meghan Markle and Prince Harry don’t come to Philip’s memorial, expert says

Goldman, JPMorgan award bumper bonuses to top bankers

Living Proof Curl Shampoo review: could this redefine your curly hair?


News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro

News Every Day

Who is Dan Evans’ girlfriend Aleah, and how long as she been with Australian Open tennis star?

Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here


News Every Day

How a Family of Saffron Farmers Harvests the World s Most Expensive Spice Vendors



Sports today


Новости тенниса
ATP

Даниил Медведев опустился на четвертое место в Чемпионской гонке ATP



Спорт в России и мире

Триумф надежности Toyota: Нассер Аль-Аттия за рулем Toyota Hilux стал победителем легендарного ралли-рейда «Дакар-2022»


Загрузка...

All sports news today




Загрузка...

Sports in Russia today

Okko эксклюзивно покажет межсезонные контрольные игры ФК “Локомотив”


Новости России

Game News

E-promo Новый Год


Russian.city



Губернаторы России
Россия

Пик заражений в Петербурге: коронавирус в России


Сменивший пол офицер ФСБ рассказал о травле со стороны сослуживцев

Президент РАКИБ Припачкин указал на невозможность запрета майнинга криптовалюты в России

Positive Technologies: ряд приложений для Android и iOS имеют проблемы с хранением данных

Программный директор РСМД Тимофеев: Киев разочаровался выступлением Байдена по санкциям


«Тошно и противно»: Шукшина раскритиковала «Последний богатырь» из-за Киркорова

Футбольный клуб Басты оштрафовали за долги по зарплатам

Муз-ТВ проведёт трансляцию музыкальной Премии «Золотой Граммофон»

Игровой ютубер -Night набрал 15 млн просмотров на YouTube.


Российский теннисист Медведев поддержал Джоковича

Джокович купил контрольный пакет компании, разрабатывающей лекарство против COVID-19

«Матч действительно был очень сложным». Елена Рыбакина – о победе в первом круге Australian Open

Мельбурн. Джон Иснер проиграл в стартовом матче




«Четыре золота из пяти»: Авербух назвал шансы российских фигуристов на Олимпиаде в Пекине

Brand Analytics назвала самый запомнившийся россиянам поступок Байдена на посту президента

Лукашенко в новом году продолжает практику встреч с главами российских регионов

Эпидемиолог Горелов определил сроки распространения «Омикрона» до регионов России


Слуцкий оценил новые санкции США против России: “Хвост виляет собакой”

«Есть накачка Киева оружием»: Песков высказался об идее встречи Путина и Зеленского

Максим Галкин показал Пугачеву на шопинге у Гуляева

Огнезащита без компромиссов: материалы ROCKWOOL прошли очередную проверку



Путин в России и мире







Персональные новости
Russian.city

PR time

Певица Ева Канна приняла участие в концерте для ветеранов Великой Отечественной войны в Санкт- Петербурге



News Every Day

Dolomites, Italy: Brenner Pass and Reifenstein Castle - Rick Steves Europe Travel Guide




Friends of Today24


Загрузка...
Музыкальные новости
"Воскресенье " Олег Митяев



Персональные новости
Близкий друг Путина миллиардер Пугачев. Вся правда о Путине, его семье и деньгах. В гостях у Гордона (2021)

Навальный об уволенном за пост священнике (2021)

Slava Marlow – суперуспех и депрессия в 21 год / вДудь (2021)

Обнаглевшие дети путинской элиты (2021)

Дайте собакам мяса (новый звук) -Владимир Высоцкий

Группа "Рождество" - песня "Так хочется жить!" (Видео с концерта в Киеве группы "РОЖДЕСТВО" в 2011 году в Доме офицеров)

Adriano Celentano Любимая песня Челентано (высочайшая энергетика) talentTV

Moscow.media