Study Shows Decrease in U.S Sulfur Dioxide Levels Will Increase Rainfall in Africa’s Sahel Region (credit Columbia University Earth Institute)
According to models published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, a decrease in sulfur dioxide levels in the United States can markedly increase the rainfall of Africa’s Sahel region by the year 2100.
Since the 1970’s, the United States has been on a mission to particularly cut emissions of sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is a harmful gas that is yielded from the burning of coal. This gas leads to acid rain, poisoning crops around the world, and even induces respiratory problems in animals. In addition, sulfur dioxide “simultaneously cools and dries earth's climate by reflecting sunlight back to space and suppressing heat-driven evaporation near the ground.” By eliminating sulfur dioxide emissions out completely, models suggest that by the year 2100, there will be a 10% increase (from 2000 levels) in rainfall in Africa’s Sahel region (the transition region between the Sahara desert to the north and the Savanna to the south).
The increase in rainfall will also cause the crop season to last longer, allowing harvesting to hit an all-time high. This will also generate economic growth.
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©2017 Meteorologist David Tedesco