Navigation Links
Cutting carbon dioxide helps prevent drying
Date:3/24/2011

Washington, D.C.Recent climate modeling has shown that reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would give the Earth a wetter climate in the short term. New research from Carnegie Global Ecology scientists Long Cao and Ken Caldeira offers a novel explanation for why climates are wetter when atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are decreasing. Their findings, published online today by Geophysical Research Letters, show that cutting carbon dioxide concentrations could help prevent droughts caused by global warming.

Cao and Caldeira's new work shows that this precipitation increase is due to the heat-trapping property of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide traps heat in the middle of the atmosphere. This warm air higher in the atmosphere tends to prevent the rising air motions that create thunderstorms and rainfall.

As a result, an increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide tends to suppress precipitation. Similarly, a decrease in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide tends to increase precipitation.

The results of this study show that cutting the concentration of precipitation-suppressing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would increase global precipitation. This is important because scientists are concerned that unchecked global warming could cause already dry areas to get drier. (Global warming may also cause wet areas to get wetter.) Cao and Caldeira's findings indicate that reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide could prevent droughts caused by climate change.

"This study shows that the climate is going to be drier on the way up and wetter on the way down," Caldeira said, adding:"Proposals to cool the earth using geo-engineering tools to reflect sunlight back to space would not cause a similar pulse of wetness."

The team's work shows that carbon dioxide rapidly affects the structure of the atmosphere, causing quick changes precipitation, as well as many other aspects of Earth's climate, well before the greenhouse gas noticeably affects temperature. These results have important implications for understanding the effects of climate change caused by carbon dioxide, as well as the potential effects of reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.

"The direct effects of carbon dioxide on precipitation take place quickly," said Cao. "If we could cut carbon dioxide concentrations now, we would see precipitation increase within the year, but it would take many decades for climate to cool."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ken Caldeira
kcaldeira@carnegie.stanford.edu
650-704-7212
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Resilience in an aging society: GSA showcases cutting-edge meeting topics
2. New edition of laboratory manual includes cutting-edge techniques to study gene regulation
3. Cutting salt isnt the only way to reduce blood pressure
4. Cutting-edge amfAR grants fight HIV/AIDS in the lab and on the phone
5. CHIs 5th Biomarker World Congress: Signature Event with Cutting-Edge Agenda
6. Food security for leaf-cutting ants: Workers and their fungus garden reject endophyte invaders
7. Healing wounds with lasers, vehicles that drive themselves, other cutting-edge optics
8. International Rett Syndrome Foundation awards $2M for cutting-edge Rett syndrome research
9. Global Rainmakers Brings Cutting-Edge Biometric Security Products to Reality
10. Global Rainmakers Brings Cutting-Edge Biometric Security Products to Reality
11. Neuroscientist: Think twice about cutting music in schools
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 14, 2016 "Increase in ... biometrics market" The mobile biometrics market is expected to ... 49.33 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 29.3% ... factors such as the growing demand for smart devices, ... transactions. "Software component is expected to grow ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Singulex, Inc., the leader ... technology, entered into a license and supply agreement with ... The agreement provides Singulex access to Thermo Scientific BRAHMS ... is used to diagnose systemic bacterial infection ... to aid in assessing the risk of ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... 2016   Avanade is helping Williams Martini ... in history, exploit biometric data in order to critically ... the competitive edge against their rivals after their impressive, ... Avanade has worked with Williams during the 2016 season ... (heart rate, breathing rate, temperature and peak acceleration) for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... SpineFrontier, ... next evolution in spinal fusion, the MISquito Percutaneous Pedicle Screw System (part ... SpineFrontier is focused on technique driven product solutions that provide maximum efficiency ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 2017 /PRNewswire -- WuXi AppTec, a leading global ... technology platform, today announced that it has acquired ... drug discovery contract research organization (CRO). After completion ... subsidiary of WuXi, and will continue to focus ... services. The acquisition will further strengthen WuXi,s R&D ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... GAITHERSBURG, Md. , Jan. 19, ... Altimmune, Inc., a privately-held immunotherapeutics company targeting infectious ... agreement for the merger of PharmAthene and Altimmune ... Novartis Venture Fund, HealthCap, Truffle Capital and Redmont ... and diversified immunotherapeutics company with four clinical stage ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider ... world, was today awarded the "Best Science & Technology Social Networking Service 2016" ... decided upon by a dedicated team of researchers and analysts. , The 2016 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: