As temperatures rise due to human-caused climate change, some researchers are concerned that soils will dry. However, between 2011 to 2020, soil moisture increased across 57% of the United States during summer, the warmest time of year…
While it’s not surprising that more rain means wetter soil, the research challenges a long-standing assumption that increases in global temperatures will lead to drier soils…
The research team found that drying from increased temperature was largely balanced by CO2 fertilization, which allows plants to use water more efficiently. Both these effects are secondary relative to rainfall and tend to cancel each other out — leaving precipitation as the primary driver of soil moisture.
One very myopic thing to do would be to cherry pick regional data to support a certain narrative.
That would be very misguided, the more I think about it, because we know there has been, is, and will likely continue to be, tremendous regional variability along with tremendous year-to-year variability.
Yes. Which is not to say the regional information is useless. Far from it. The global information informs what we can do to mitigate the global situation, while the regional information informs our more local response.
But the regional information is sometimes misused to attempt to refute or deny the global issues.
Surface humidity is one thing but the real treasures are the underground aquifers. A lot of water is lost to the sea. It would be much better if rainwater could be slowed so that it can seep into the ground and down to the aquifers. Not better drains but better dams like beaver dams is what we need.
Protect rainwater! With enough water plants will eat all the CO2 they love to munch on.
True. At the same time, many processes are global such as drying, transpiration, CO2 fertilization. Perhaps the most important takeaway from the research is that climate models that assume drier soils will result from higher temps are clearly in error. And that is good news.
But that is exactly the mistake I suggested. This study was apparently just of the US. You can’t expand that research to other parts of the world. From a statistical standpoint, the sample is far from random, coming from only part of a single continent.
There is no reason to think that the results in the US will apply to other parts of the world.