Tropics expanding fast

Climate Change

There’s been a number of stories lately about some new data showing climate change is having the effect of expanding the tropical belt surrounding the earth’s equator:

“Signs of a very different 21st-century climate are already showing up, and not just in the melting arctic. A new review in Nature Geoscience highlights reports that the boundaries of the tropics, defined by temperature, rainfall, wind, and ozone patterns, have shifted poleward by at least 2 degrees latitude in the last 25 years. According to climate models, that’s as far as the tropical belt was supposed to creep by the end of this century. Five different methods used to measure the tropics all show more or less breakneck rates of expansion — one gives as much as 4.8 degrees in 25 years. “

One of the real problems with this is that it has the effect of decreasing the range of the temperate zone, which in turn decreases the total space available for deciduous trees. Which lowers the efficacy of that particular carbon sequestration method.

Read the rest here.

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