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Global Warming Expanding Tropics—As Always, The Poor Will Bear The Burdens

The portion of the Earth covered by tropics has expanded since 1979 and will continue to expand as the world warms.

From the BBC article—  

While geographers define “The Tropics” rigidly as the region between 23.5 degrees North and 23.5 degrees South, to atmospheric scientists it is a more variable zone marked by features such as the jet stream and the circulation known as Hadley cells.

On these measures, the tropics have expanded since the era of reliable satellite observation began in 1979.

“The edges of the tropical belt are the outer boundaries of the subtropical dry zones, and their poleward shift could lead to fundamental shifts in ecosystems and in human settlements,” the researchers write in the journal Nature Geoscience.

“Shifts in precipitation patterns would have obvious implications for agriculture and water resources, and could present serious hardships in marginal areas.”

As is the case in so many aspects of life, the poor will bear many of the most difficult burdens of this climate change.  

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned in its series of reports this year that serious impacts on food and water supplies lie ahead, including:

  • 75-250 million people across Africa could face water shortages by 2020
  • Crop yields could increase by 20% in East and South East Asia, but decrease by up to 30% in Central and South Asia
  • Agriculture fed by rainfall could drop by 50% in some African countries by 2020

The scientists behind the new study note that the tropical zone appears to be expanding much faster than predicted by computer models.

Some people think of the tropics of being like the photo above.

But for many, expanded tropics will make life more like the photo below

January 3, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. global warming is a hoax. pave the planet!!!!!

    Comment by geo d | January 3, 2008

  2. every year i kill another tree or bush in my yard and the winters are warmer. in cincinnati we have had a small spell of cold over the last few days. the blood has gone thin here and the people have forgotten the old cincinnati winters. i will start burning tires and dumping oil in the back yard and i am sure next year i can plant my palm trees, imagine how much prettier northside will look with palm trees. meanwhile the drought stricken can pray to their gods for water and i am sure their prayers will be answered.

    Comment by bill brady | January 4, 2008

  3. We have palm trees in Houston and they are really not so nice. At least not along shopping strips where they have often been planted.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 4, 2008

  4. Brilliant!

    I can see you have put much of you thought processes into this explanation. Unfortunately your thoughts are a manifestation of your ignorance on the subject.

    You give new meaning to the word “Lemming”.

    Comment by Andrew Pennachio | January 4, 2008

  5. Andrew—If you had just stopped at brilliant we would have been in full agreement.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 4, 2008

  6. andrew welcome to the discussion you seem to like to attack and have no argument or fact just attack, whats up with that? do you think global warming is a hoax? do you think? or just attack? curious

    Comment by bill brady | January 4, 2008

  7. Today’s (January 7) high temperature in Cincinnati, Ohio is expected to be 71 degrees F. 71 DEGREES IN JANUARY!?!

    Comment by carsick | January 7, 2008

  8. Carsick—It was 69 at 6 AM in Houston today.

    Nice and warm.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 7, 2008

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