2011-02-28 07:29:49Migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone
John Hartz
John Hartz

The current (March 2011) issue of Scientific America contains an excellent artcle, "A Shifting Band of Rain" by Juian B. Sachs and Conor L Myhrvold.

The article in brief: 

  • The tropical rain band that wraps the globe north of the equator migrates as atmospheric temperature changes, altering rainfall patterns worldwide.
  • Data from sediments in Pacific Island lakes show that the band is at 3°N to 10°N, as far north as it has ever been in at least 1,200 years.
  • At current warming rates, the band could shift north by five degrees by 2100, drying out farmland for millions of people in Ecuador, Colombia and elsewhere.
  • Multiyear drought conditions in the southwestern U.S. could persist as that area becomes more like the semiarid region of northern Mexico.