High concentrations of carbon dioxide could also affect atmospheric moisture, a recent study reveals. Long Cao and Ken Caldeira, from Carnegie Global Ecology found out an explanation for why the moisture increases with the decrease of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This finding could help us prevent droughts, economic instability and hunger.
Vertical air motions are essential for rainfall and thunderstorms to exist. These motions are greatly reduced when the atmospheric carbon dioxide traps the heat in the middle. The conclusion is that if the CO2 concentration is reduced, then the phenomenon of air motion occurs more naturally, leading to an increase in precipitations.
“This study shows that the climate is going to be drier on the way up and wetter on the way down,” Caldeira said, adding: “Proposals to cool the earth using geo-engineering tools to reflect sunlight back to space would not cause a similar pulse of wetness.”
The speed at which this happens is very high – much higher than the speed at which the carbon dioxide could affect the temperature, as a greenhouse gas. The bad side of the issue is that to restore the normal wetness, several decades are needed. “The direct effects of carbon dioxide on precipitation take place quickly,” said Cao. “If we could cut carbon dioxide concentrations now, we would see precipitation increase within the year, but it would take many decades for climate to cool.”
The great energy crisis that we’re in the middle of could easily be affected by new droughts. If each one of us puts a cap on how much carbon dioxide he/she emits directly or indirectly, we may have a chance of fixing what we’ve done wrong so far. Otherwise, things are only going to head for worse.