Satellite tracking of worldwide storms for more than a decade show melting polar ice sheets and increased rainfall are sending more fresh water into the oceans at the same time areas that need rain are getting less, according to a first-of-its-kind study by scientists at UC Irvine.
“In general, more water is good,” said Jay Famiglietti, UCI Earth system science professor and principal investigator on the study. “But here’s the problem: Not everybody is getting more rainfall, and those who are may not need it.”
“What we’re seeing,” he added, “is exactly what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted — that precipitation is increasing in the tropics and the Arctic Circle, with heavier, more punishing storms. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of people live in semiarid regions, and those are drying up.”