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Amazon forest cause their own rain

Pumping water into the atmosphere, the trees begin the season earlier than usual.


The Amazon forest itself, yourself watered by rain. (Photo: RoboCup2014 / Flickr.com.)

It is known that the weather in the Amazon jungle has its surprises: for example, the rains here begin in two to three months before they are due – that is, before the wind will start to drive up moisture from the ocean.

Moisture over the forests of the Amazon basin were measured repeatedly, and each time it turned out that it really is higher than it should be. Obviously, this excess moisture initially right here and there, any outside air currents do not bring it. We also managed to notice that the increase in humidity coincided with the emergence of new leaves on the local trees.

The growth of leaves means increased photosynthesis, and photosynthesis needs carbon dioxide . Plants capture his special pores – stomata, covering the surface of the sheet, but while the pores are open, through them from the plant leaving the water; lifting up, she could form rain clouds.

Everything seems logical, but there is still needed a more rigorous proof of the fact that trees are associated with the early rains. And such evidence finally managed to Fu Rong (Rong Fu), University of California at Los Angeles and his colleagues from several research centers in China, USA and France.

As writes portal Science, the researchers used data from a NASA satellite designed to monitor atmospheric composition. This satellite, in particular, could distinguish light evaporation from the ocean surface from the heavy fumes rising from the plants. Light and heavy evaporation differ in the level of deuterium, a hydrogen isotope with greater atomic mass. Deuterium is part of the water molecules, but evaporation from the ocean surface, these molecules prefer to stay in the ocean and in the atmosphere leaving those that take it easy with normal hydrogen in the composition. Plants, sucking the water from the soil and surpassing it in leaves, equally sent in the air both heavy and light molecules.

In an article in PNAS , the authors write that the moisture which rises over the Amazon forests, a lot of deuterium is too much to take it due to oceanic evaporation. And most of the deuterium is getting over the Amazon jungle when on trees there is a new foliage.

Low clouds, which appear due to the humidity of the forest, trigger the Domino effect: they not only watered by rain forest, they also warm up the atmosphere, contributing to air circulation over the territory, and such a circulation of the air flow, as suggested by researchers, like “attracting” the moisture from the ocean, the humidity is even more, and it rains even more.

Thanks deuterium trail, which leave the plants in the atmosphere, were able to show that the period of the rainy season over the Amazon is shifting thanks to forests. Before us is another example of how plants affect the earth’s climate – and another reason to think of it, shouldn’t we redouble our efforts to preserve the forests on the planet.

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