A new study suggests that climate change could cause Earth’s tropical rain belt to shift, creating a dire scenario that could threaten the food security and livelihood of billions of people.
Climate change could shift the tropical rain belt of the earth
According to the data gleaned from a new study, scientists have formed the opinion that the results of climate change seem likely to disrupt Earth’s tropical rain belt. As parts of the planet’s atmosphere heat up at different rates, this would change the patterns of the tropical rain belt, causing it to shift. The results will be dire for the planet, as well as for the food security of billions of people.
A group of researchers analyzed 27 of the most up-to-date climate models to reach their conclusions, Science Alert reported. As they poured over the data, they took the route of isolating the effects on the Eastern and Western Hemispheres and studied them separately. That’s when the full impact of the climate crisis on the tropical rain belt unexpectedly became clear.
The research was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
What will the impact be?
The immediate impact the scientist realize was what affect the changing climate will have on food supply. Areas of the world responsible for providing billions of human beings with food will no longer receive the same vital amounts of rainfall.
Even before this latest study, evidence was already emerging that the rain belt is moving northward.
Currently, the tropical rain belt provides heavy precipitation along the equator. For this reason, the region provides a massive amount of the world’s food supply. Brazil, in particular, one of the world’s largest producers of food, would be especially affected.
In turn, the loss of food production means the loss of jobs and devastation of local economies. It won’t do any good to look for jobs near me hiring, because no one will be hiring in some areas as crops are devastated.
What the scientists are saying
“Our work shows that climate change will cause the position of Earth’s tropical rain belt to move in opposite directions in two longitudinal sectors that cover almost two thirds of the globe,” said Antonios Mamalakis, an atmospheric scientist from Colorado State University, “[it’s] a process that will have cascading effects on water availability and food production around the world.”
“In Asia, projected reductions in aerosol emissions, glacier melting in the Himalayas and loss of snow cover in northern areas brought on by climate change will cause the atmosphere to heat up faster than in other regions,” said James Randerson, an Earth systems scientist from the University of California, Irvine. “We know that the rain belt shifts toward this heating, and that its northward movement in the Eastern Hemisphere is consistent with these expected impacts of climate change.”
When will the changes occur?
According to the models created by the researchers, a shift in the tropical rain belt due to climate change could occur as soon as the turn of the century. The researchers said these findings emphasize the urgency to bring greenhouse gas emissions under control.