New research suggests that global warming is causing the cycle of evaporation and rainfall over the oceans to intensify more than scientists had expected, meaning there will be more extreme weather in the coming years. It implies that the water cycle could quicken by as much as 20% later in this century as the planet warms, potentially leading to more droughts and floods.
Over the 50 year span between 1950 and 2000, the salty areas of the ocean became saltier, while the freshwater areas became fresher, and scientists couldn't figure out what was causing this, but they knew it was dangerous, since it could alter the course of the Gulf Stream.
These variations in salinity are so extreme that they can be detected by NASA satellites.
In the April 27th edition of the New York Times, Justin Gillis quotes Woods Hole scientist Raymond W. Schmitt as saying, "The amplification pattern that (Durack) sees is really quite dramatic."
Gillis writes that "perhaps the greatest risk from global warming" is that "important agricultural areas could dry out, hurting the food supply, as other regions get more torrential rains and floods."
He quotes researcher Paul J. Durack as saying, "This provides another piece of independent evidence that we need to start taking the problem seriously."
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