Friday, May 26, 2006

Tropics Expanding

"The tropical regions of the world have been expanding since 1979, according to a study by US climatologists who are unsure whether the phenomenon is caused by global warming or natural climate change.

"After analyzing satellite temperature data collected from 1979 through 2005, researchers estimated that the tropics expanded by two degrees of latitude, or 225 kilometers (140 miles), during that period.

"The phenomenon could explain the increase in droughts and decrease in precipitation observed in recent years in the subtropical regions of southwestern United States and Europe's Mediterranean basin, the scientists said in a paper published in Science magazine's May 26 issue."

"The tropical zone, geographically speaking, lies between the Tropic of Cancer at 23.5 degrees north latitude and the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.5 degrees south latitude. Meteorologists, however, generally consider that the tropics extend 30 degrees latitude north and south of the Equator.

"Should the tropics 'move another two or three degrees poleward in this century,' said University of Washington atmospheric sciences professor and study co-author John Wallace, 'very dry areas such as the Sahara Desert could nudge farther toward the pole, perhaps by a few hundred miles.'"

"Earth has two polar jet streams at polar latitudes, one in each hemisphere, and two subtropical jet streams closer to the Equator, also one in each hemisphere. The data show that the jet streams in both hemispheres have moved toward the poles.

"'The jet streams mark the edge of the tropics, so if they are moving poleward that means the tropics are getting wider,' Wallace said." ...

Kurt Wise has discussed the likely positive changes of global warming to our existence on earth.

The Sahara Desert sits between 16 and 30 degrees North.
Israel sits between 31.2 and 32.6 degrees North.

Thus says the Lord: "'I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first,' says the LORD."

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