NASA data predicts a rainier future than expected

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A new study prepared by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory shows the amount of rain in tropical regions may increase in the future due to global warming.

The study, titled “Tightening of tropical ascent and high clouds key to precipitation change in a warmer climate”, was published in the journal Nature Communications. Its main findings include the tightening of the Hadley cell, which is the atmospheric general circulation above the equator, and how the decrease in tropical high clouds would lead to more rainfall in tropical regions.

According to the study, fewer high clouds leads to a cooler tropical atmosphere, which then requires increased latent heating to balance the cooling from high cloud shrinkage. This would then lead to an increase precipitation that would occur primarily over the tightened convective zones near the equator.

“This study provides a pathway for improving predictions of future precipitation change,” scientist Hui Su of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who led the study said in a press release.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Location of the Hadley cells
2. Hadley cells narrowing due to climate change
3. Increased precipitation over tightened convective zones

VOICEOVER (in English):
“The atmospheric general circulation above the equator is known as the Hadley cell, which includes a wide zone of rising air.”

“The zone has been observed to be narrowing over the past 30 to 40 years, due to climate change. This causes a decrease in tropical high clouds.”

“This decrease leads to a cooler tropical atmosphere, which then requires increased latent heating to balance the cooling from high cloud shrinkage. This leads increased precipitation that would occur primarily over the tightened convective zones near the equator.”

SOURCES: Nature communications, JPL NASA
https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15771#Fig1
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2017-164&rn=news.xml&rst=6871