Global Warming

Wetter Tropics

NASA says Earth’s tropical climates are likely to experience more rainfall than predicted as the planet continues to warm, even as the region’s high clouds thin out in the decades ahead.

In a counterintuitive process of heating and cooling, less high cloudiness means the air above the tropical surface would actually cool without those clouds capping in the heat below.

Researchers say this would alter Earth’s “energy budget” and create more tropical rainfall. Most climate models have failed to factor in this process, thus underestimating future tropical rainfall.