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Research attributes Iberian Peninsula climate change to human activity


A team of researchers has discovered human activity is the cause for drying out the climate in southwestern Europe. William Harmon Norton Professor of Geology Rhawn Denniston Using funding from a 2018 National Science Foundation grant , a multidisciplinary team of researchers, including Cornell College William Harmon Norton Professor of Geology Rhawn Denniston, identified how and why droughts have occurred in southern Portugal over the last millennium. The latest findings were just published in the Journal Nature Geoscience .

“Using stalagmites and cutting-edge climate model simulations, this study found that a big area of atmospheric high pressure in the eastern Atlantic Ocean–the Azores High Pressure System–has been responding to increased levels of carbon dioxide (C02) in the 20th century from human activities such as the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas, and as a result, is increasing the frequency of dry winters,” Denniston said.

The Azores High Pressure System is located in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain and Portugal. In the region’s Mediterranean climate, most precipitation falls during the winter rainy season and the Azores High strongly impacts how much rain falls.

“The stronger and bigger this Azores High Pressure System is, the less rain is going to fall in […]

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