“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”… Because Climate Change!

Guest “Will climate change also increase our odds of finding a pot of gold?” by David Middleton

Climate change to produce more rainbows
Posted on October 28, 2022 by Marcie Grabowski

Climate change will increase opportunities to see rainbows, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Hawai‘i (UH) at Mānoa. The study’s authors estimate that by 2100, the average land location on Earth will experience about 5% more days with rainbows than at the beginning of the 21st century. Northern latitudes and very high elevations, where warming is predicted to lead to less snow and more rain, will experience the greatest gains in rainbow occurrence. However, places with reduced rainfall under climate change—such as the Mediterranean—are projected to lose rainbow days.


“Living in Hawai‘i, I felt grateful that stunning, ephemeral rainbows were a part of my daily life,” said the lead author of the study, Kimberly Carlson, who is now at New York University’s Department of Environmental Studies. “I wondered how climate change might affect such rainbow viewing opportunities.”


The Hawaiian Islands, recently dubbed the “rainbow capital of the world”, are predicted to experience a few more days with rainbows per year. The authors stopped short of discussing how changes in rainbow occurrence might affect human wellbeing. However, rainbows are an important part of human culture throughout history and around the world and are aesthetically pleasing.

“Climate change will generate pervasive changes across all aspects of the human experience on Earth. Shifts in intangible parts of our environment—such as sound and light—are part of these changes and deserve more attention from researchers,” said Carlson.

In this case, the overall findings are encouraging—it seems people will have more opportunities to make a rainbow connection under climate change.

Read also on Eurekalert.

The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

via Watts Up With That?


November 1, 2022 at 08:24PM

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