Tropics Could be Lost Completely by 2100

A new study has found by 2100, several existing climate zones could be lost completely, and new climates won't be anything like what we have now.

The worst case scenario is current climate conditions on 48 percent of Earth's land area would no longer exist. The changes would most severely affect biodiverse areas like the Amazonian and Indonesian rainforests, wiping out species that are unable to move with their climates. It would also hit heavily populated areas such as the southeastern United States.

Climates could move and squeeze out others 

Professor Jack Williams, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, lead a team using models that translate carbon dioxide emissions into climate change, to decipher where precipitation and temperature changes would likely occur. The research predicts current climate zones will move towards the poles and squeeze out climates at the extremes.

After comparing the predicted changes with variations that already occur naturally, the team found changes would greater affect areas with fewer seasonal fluctuations -- tropical and subtropical regions. Williams tells an Australian newspaper the finding that a few degrees of temperature change in the tropics could have more impact than up to 15 degree changes in higher latitudes wasn't expected.

"That's one of the things that really surprised us. The tropics have very little variability from year to year in temperature; they are a very stable climatic zone. So species that live in those climates expect a limited degree of variability."

It's not all doom and gloom though, if emissions were reduced there would still be changes, but only up to 20 percent of the Earth's land area would be affected. Looks like it's time to start peer pressuring your friends into living the green life.

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