Land ‘evapotranspiration’ taking unexpected turn: huge parts of world are drying up
[Via Eureka! Science News]
The soils in large areas of the Southern Hemisphere, including major portions of Australia, Africa and South America, have been drying up in the past decade, a group of researchers conclude in the first major study to ever examine “evapotranspiration” on a global basis. Most climate models have suggested that evapotranspiration, which is the movement of water from the land to the atmosphere, would increase with global warming. The new research, published online this week in the journal Nature, found that’s exactly what was happening from 1982 to the late 1990s.
Where water is located will become even more important over the next generation. If parts of the world that had water are drying out, then a large portion of the world’s population could be at risk.
Getting a better understanding of the reasons behind this will be important for making decisions regarding water use.