Back to Articles | « Previous | Next »
Home » Climate Change Could Shift Earth’s Tropical Rain Belt, Threatening Food Security For Billions
Read the full article here

Climate Change Could Shift Earth’s Tropical Rain Belt, Threatening Food Security For Billions

Climate Change Could Shift Earth's Tropical Rain Belt, Threatening Food Security For Billions

A new study suggests a potential change in tropical rain belt patterns could threaten the livelihoods and food security of billions of people.

Today, the tropical rain belt brings with it heavy precipitation along the equator, but as different parts of Earth's atmosphere heat up at different rates, this belt looks likely to become disrupted as it gets attracted to warmer regions of air – threatening biodiversity and taking away the water that people rely on, including growing crops.

Researchers analysed 27 of the most up-to-date climate models to reach their conclusions, but the full impact of the climate crisis on the tropical rain belt only became clear when they isolated the effects on the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, and studied them separately.

"Our work shows that climate change will cause the position of Earth's tropical rain belt to move in opposite directions in two longitudinal sectors that cover almost two thirds of the globe, a process that will have cascading effects on water availability and food production around the world," says atmospheric scientist Antonios Mamalakis, from Colorado State University.

Across the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean in the Western Hemisphere, a southward shifting of the tropical rain belt will increase drought stress in regions across Central America, according to the projections.
Sticker