Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Human activity behind global changes in rain: study

clipped from
Climate change

The world's rainfall patterns are changing, and they are doing so because of human-caused climate change, a new study finds.

Environment Canada researchers analyzed global rainfall patterns over landĀ from 1925 to 1999, breaking it down into bands of 10 degrees in latitude. The bulk of Canada's landmass sits between the 40th and 70th parallels.

They found 10 per cent more rain and snow in northern regions including Canada, Russia and Europe, and the southern tropics region below the equator.

Meanwhile, there has been drying away from the equator to 30 degrees North, including Mexico, Central America, sub-Saharan Africa, southern India and Southeast Asia.

Researchers say the main cause behind the shifting patterns is human activity, including a steady rise in greenhouse gas emissions and sulphate aerosols from the burning of fossil fuels.

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