Rainforests may pump winds worldwide
The NewScientist has an article titled Rainforests may pump winds worldwide, which may shake up the climate and environmental skeptics. It seems large forests are the heart, lungs and kidneys of our living planet. Large forests may be responsible for pumping moisture laden air across continents helping rainfall far inland…
Cool factoid of the day from the article: “More moisture typically evaporates from rainforests than from the ocean. The Amazon rainforest, for example, releases 20 trillion litres of moisture every day.”
How can forests create wind? Water vapour from coastal forests and oceans quickly condenses to form droplets and clouds. The Russians point out that the gas takes up less space as it turns to liquid, lowering local air pressure. Because evaporation is stronger over the forest than over the ocean, the pressure is lower over coastal forests, which suck in moist air from the ocean. This generates wind that drives moisture further inland. The process repeats itself as the moisture is recycled in stages, moving towards the continent’s heart (see diagram). As a result, giant winds transport moisture thousands of kilometres into the interior of a continent.