Trees making their own rain? Sounds odd, doesn’t it? However, as you read further on in this article, you will realize that there are a lot of findings to support this weird phenomenon. Many of us may not know this, but the Amazon rainforests do have some strange weather patterns. For instance, the rains here begin two to three months before the seasonal winds bring the humid air from the ocean as is required for monsoons to happen. Researchers have done some research to discover that the moisture actually comes from the trees themselves. Read on to find out how trees in the Amazon forests make their own rain. This is could be counted among the most rare phenomena on Earth.
We are sure most of you are aware of the environment and forests due to the heart touching songs on climate change. But the rains that tree that Amazon forests create is not part of general knowledge. The researchers’ studies have provided concrete data to prove what has only been guesswork until now. There had been earlier research that showed that there was a collection of moisture in the atmosphere there on Amazon but the scientists were not sure why. One of the climate scientists from the University of California, Rong Fu said’ “All you can see is the water vapor, but you don’t know where it comes from,”.
Data from the satellites showed that the increase in moisture would coincide with the increase of the greenery or ‘greening’ in the rainforest. The growth of fresh leaves was something that was noticed and many researchers could only surmise that the increased moisture had something to do with this. They suspected that the moisture increase could be due to water vapor that occurred due to photosynthesis. Apparently, the plants release water vapor from the small pores from the underside of the leaves via a process called transpiration.
Fu had a feeling during the course of research that it was the plants themselves that cause moisture to be released but it needed to be proven. Fu and fellow scientists started observing the water vapor over the Amazon area using Aura Satellite of the NASA which was dedicated to the study of chemistry in the earth’s atmosphere. The moisture released from plants tends to be heavier than the moisture released from the oceans. The lightness of oceans’ moisture is because of the water molecules tend to leave behind deuterium, which is a heavy isotope of hydrogen (composed of one neutron and one proton) in the ocean itself. However, when plants release moisture into the atmosphere, they simply take it from the soil and release it into the atmosphere without changing the composition.
This difference in the moisture collected over Amazon forests with a heavier deuterium was what led scientists to believe that it could be moisture from the ocean. Further proof was the fact that deuterium content was highest at the end of the dry season in the Amazon when the greening period occurred when the strongest photosynthesis occurred.
It goes without saying that the rain clouds that have been induced by the plants have a cascading effect on the weather. The weather becomes warmer as these clouds make it rain which in turn causes the air to go and causes circulation to go up. Scientists believe that this circulation, in turn, is big enough to make changes in the wind patterns, which brings more humidity from the oceans. Studies show that the greenery helps seed rain in the atmosphere with the release of salt particles. However, detailed study shows that plants do trigger the actual rains.
This study is also important in the sense that it establishes more firmly the connection between plants and the role they play in the weather. Instead of just playing a passive role, plants can actually play an active role in regulating the fall of rain. If this phenomenon is true, then scientists feel that they should take factors like the cutting down of forests to predict changes that occur in weather conditions. This goes to show that deforestation has an adverse effect on weather and can go a long way to prevent drought.
Scientists are now studying forests in the Congo to see if something similar is occurring there too. Can you imagine the power of forests, if we find out how trees in the Amazon forests make their own rains? This discovery could help mitigate some of the problems that the current environment faces. We all know that there are many reasons that we need to work towards conservation of forests but this is one more reason to do so. It is not without foundation that conservationists insist that deforestation is one of the main concerns for adverse climate changes.