The Expanding Tropics
Earth’s tropical zone is commonly defined as the portion of the Earth’s surface which lies between the Tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn, that is at 23.5 degrees latitude north and south respectively from the equator. A quick look at any map will soon reveal that some 40 per cent of our planet’s land surface may be found within these boundaries and in which we may find not only about 80 percent of the entire global population but also the majority of the world’s plants and animals all of which are adapted to the existing climatic conditions.
Studies published back in 2009 indicated that the heat from the tropics is slowly expanding with a variation of between 2 degrees to more than 5 degrees of latitude approximately every 25 years, what this means is that current expansion of the zones has already added some 300 kilometers to their area on either side of the equator and it continues to expand. The study conducted by Dr. Joanne Issac and Professor Steve Turton, both from the James Cook University looked at scientific findings from not only climate models, which are much maligned by climate skeptics, but also combined information from satellite measurements, weather balloons and sea surface temperatures.
The world’s tropical zones take in the regions of southern Australia, southern Africa, the southern Europe-Mediterranean-Middle East region, the south-western United States, northern Mexico and southern South America. what the study demonstrated was that while many of these areas could experience more droughts, the expansion of the tropical zone into these regions would also likely result in heavier rainfall patterns incurring heavy flooding and the possibility of a Southern shift in the paths of tropical storms and cyclones.
The study was published in July 2009 and received little if any publicity around the world but so as to prove the merits of the study, nature decided in early 2011 that she would unleash upon the world a cyclone so massive in size as to defy the imagination; it was so large that had it hit the Northern Hemisphere instead of the sparsely populated regions of Queensland, Australia where it made landfall, it would have almost covered the entire United States, much of Asia and large parts of Europe and might well have killed many tens of thousands of people and displaced hundreds of millions from their homes.
So as to drive home the point even further, nature also began pelting the entire eastern coast of Australia, the Philippines and many other areas of South-East Asia with virtually non-stop flooding rains that to date have rarely abated for more than a few months since around Christmas 2010, these events have rarely left the local news since they began yet have received very little coverage in other parts of the world. Incredibly, most climate deniers, when faced with all this information quickly bring forth the anomalies of millions of years ago and refuse to talk about the reality of the present situation.
Me? I’m considering buying a boat and moving to the Sahara!
Note: For some reason the link to the study does not always come up, keep trying.