New study: Rainforests, not temperatures, drive wind

“What if, instead, the winds that drive atmospheric circulation are mainly created by the condensation of moisture?”

Read more at the New Scientist.

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3 responses to “New study: Rainforests, not temperatures, drive wind

  1. Heh, you mean the chaotic (as in we don’t know all elements and how they interact) climate system is even more chaotic than we thought?
    I dunno. Extensive areas of England were deforested but neither the islands nor their neighbors seem to have had a change in their wind or rain patterns that could be linked clearly to the deforestation.
    Certainly the water cycle could influence winds and all that goes along with the winds. And Dr. Curry does not seem to be a “humans are curses” type.

  2. Desiccation theory (the idea that trees themselves create the conditions for rainfall) has been around a long, long time, and has been roundly and soundly debunked. It’s mostly a result of cultural bias stemming from our long history with the woods, and really came into form during the Age of Exploration when entire islands were deforested and planted to crops, extinction and erosion (that latter due to aggressive agricultural practices, not the removal of trees) being the result. The thought was that this impacted rainfall, and these islands then served as little laboratories/allegories that drummed up fear for the collapse of civilization, should these practices continue unabated.

    There’s good reasons to conserve forest. This isn’t one of them.

  3. Um – Winds are created by the earth spinning counter clockwise (when looked at from the North Pole) through the atmosphere. The atmosphere does not follow as fast because it is not physically attached, so it on average seems to move clockwise. Vortexes are created as the air crosses the globe because as a sphere the center rotates faster than the poles creating a coriolis effect.

    No rain forest and we will still have wind.

    Maybe they mean convection, because the air tends to rise around the equator due to heating and sink near the poles due to cooling – it gets a bit more complex – which is why we have two jet streams in both hemespheres, but that is the general principal. I suppoe Rising air at the equator can be enhanced with greater amounts of water vapor, because water vapor in warm air makes the air lighter on average – until the water condenses.

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