Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















Global warming driving up humidity levels

by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Oct 10, 2007
Man-made global warming is driving up humidity levels, with the risk that rainfall patterns will shift or strengthen, tropical storms intensify and human health may suffer from heat stress, a study released on Wednesday said.

From 1976 to 2004, when the world's average surface temperature rose 0.49 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit), global levels of atmospheric water vapour rose 2.2 percent, according to the paper by British scientists.

By 2100, humidity levels could increase by another 10 percent, lead researcher Nathan Gillett of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, eastern England, told AFP.

Previously, scientists had noted an increase in humidity over the past few decades as higher temperatures sucked more water from the land and ocean surface.

But it was unclear whether these changes were the result of a natural or a human impact on the climate, as the data was regional rather than global and different methods were used to make the calculations.

The new paper is based on a new set of observations of humidity levels. This data was then crunched through a powerful computer model of Earth's climate system in the late 20th century.

Gillett said water vapour was a "positive feedback" -- a vicious circle, in scientific parlance -- in the global warming equation.

Steam is a greenhouse gas, meaning that like carbon pollution that results from burning fossil fuels, it traps solar heat in the atmosphere, thus stoking the warming effect and so worsening humidity.

The ramifications could be wide-ranging, he said. The distribution and intensity of rainfall could be affected, and tropical cyclones could be beefed up, as humidity is one of the fuels for these storms.

The study is published on Thursday in Nature, the weekly British science journal.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
The Air We Breathe at TerraDaily.com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Ocean Oxidation Preceded First Great Rise In Atmospheric Oxygen
College Park MD (SPX) Oct 02, 2007
The history of life on Earth is closely linked to the appearance of oxygen in the atmosphere, which scientists think first occurred in significant amounts during a "Great Oxidation Event" some 2.4 billion years ago. However, until now little was known of environmental changes prior to this event. New findings by two teams of scientists - one led by geologists from the University of Maryland and the other by Arizona State researchers - indicate that significant oxidative changes were occurring in the oceans and atmosphere before the Great Oxidation Event.







  • Vietnam villagers face hunger amid floods
  • 3,000 evacuated after China landslide blocks river
  • Running Shipwreck Simulations Backwards Helps Identify Dangerous Waves
  • ORNL Resilience Plan To Help Tennessee, Mississippi And South Carolina Communities Beat Disaster

  • EA And BP Collaborate To Include Climate Education In SimCity Societies
  • Newfound Ancient African Megadroughts May Have Driven The Evolution Of Humans And Fishes
  • China offers surprise hope in climate change fight
  • More droughts, floods for Australia as globe heats up

  • Successful Image Taking By The High Definition Television
  • Boeing Launches WorldView-1 Earth-Imaging Satellite
  • New Faraway Sensors Warn Of Emerging Hurricane's Strength
  • Key Sensor For Northrop Grumman NPOESS Program Passes Critical Structural Test

  • Analysis: Iraqi Kurds make oil sales pitch
  • Australia approves 17.8-billion-dollar Gorgon gas project
  • Analysis: PDVSA to increase ranks
  • Study says French C02 target unattainable: report

  • China denies cover-up of pig disease
  • China confirms bird flu outbreak: HK official
  • Expert says climate change will spread global disease
  • Northern Iraq battles cholera 'epidemic'

  • Life's Hot Spot
  • Which Came First, The Chicken Genome Or The Egg Genome
  • Fair Play In Chimpanzees
  • Mountain gorillas in danger as DR Congo rebels overrun habitat

  • NAS Report Offers New Tools To Assess Health Risks From Chemicals
  • US settles record environmental suit against power firm
  • Hong Kong choking in dense smog
  • Toxic waste dump killing children in Kenya: UN report

  • New Findings Solve Human Origins Mystery
  • Why It Is Impossible For Some To Just Say No
  • The Difference Between Fish And Humans: Scientists Answer Century-Old Developmental Question
  • Harvard Scientists Predict The Future Of The Past Tense

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement