Torrential Downfall

If you follow environment/weather news on a daily basis, you might have noticed an increasingly worrisome pattern of crazy amounts of rainfall and high-velocity winds. Sure, this phenomenon is nothing new in the history of the planet, but the frequency of its occurrence is alarming.

Why are some places getting a year worth of rain in just a few minutes?

As we all know, the temperature of the Earth has risen. This rise in temperature has led to warmer air – warmer air leads to higher moisture holding capacity. Basically, warmer planet leads to warmer air which then leads to more rainfall.

Another factor that increases the moisture holding capacity of air is hygroscopic nuclei. These are minute solid and liquid particles, such as smoke particles from fires or volcanoes, ocean spray or tiny specks of wind-blown soil. These attract water molecules. At the moment, there are more than 20 active volcanoes at the moment, not to mention air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (which is also hygroscopic).

Warm, moist, unstable air, with a sufficient number of hygroscopic nuclei, is the necessity for rainfall to happen.  The ongoing splurge of rainfall around the planet is a direct result of the anthropogenic industrial activity.

We heated up the planet, which in turn heated the air, leading to more moisture in clouds, which meant more inches of rainfall around the world.

Categories: Environment

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