Mains Paper 3: Environment| Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Not much
Mains level: Global warming and its impact on precipitation
Impact of arctic warming
- Arctic warming weakens the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles, resulting in less precipitation, weaker cyclones and mid-latitude westerly wind flow.
- This result in prolonged droughts, a study has found.
- When those opposite temperatures are wider, the result is more precipitation, stronger cyclones and more robust wind flow.
- However, due to the Arctic ice melting and warming up the poles, those disparate temperatures are becoming closer.
What happens when Arctic is warmer?
- Analysis shows that, when the Arctic is warmer, the jet stream and other wind patterns tend to be weaker.
- The temperature difference in the Arctic and the tropics is less steep.
- The change brings less precipitation to the mid-latitudes.
What is happening right now?
- The northern high latitudes are warming at rates that are double the global average.
- This will decrease the equator-to-pole temperature gradient to values comparable with the early to middle Holocene Period that began 12,000 to 11,500 years ago.