18 May 2009
A single forest transpirates about 50% of the moisture that falls on it . A series of forests transpirates 100% , because they attract moisture clouds .
See New Scientist 4 Apr 2004 "Keep the planets heart pumping."
Work by Gorschakov and Makarieva
The effect is driven by the simple physical fact that a moisture cloud has a smaller volume after it condenses into water .
What has to fill the lower pressure ? Air . It spirals in and forms thunder-cells . It rains more on the peripheries , including the periphery furthest from the coast . Trees then grow more .
But this attracts even more moisture-laden air .
Areas contiguous to cells get more than 100% moisture . This gets transmitted on .
The system stabilizes when the interior receives the same rainfall as the coast .
A really neat piece of work , and I wish I had thought of it .
What does it mean ?
Evaporation paths from the coast to the interior are really important .
You do not have to reforest the whole interior .
Sprinklers with a infra-red absorbent dye in the water (to evaporate the water) on the boundaries of the attractor basins and plantings of forests on the edges will reclaim even deserts within 5-10 years .
You only need to do channels from the coast . And keep the goats away .
Really nifty .
You can actually terraform deserts by just sprinkling water on small , contiguous strips for about 10 years .
Will humans actually do it ?
They prefer to starve in the midst of plenty , as long as their Scientific Priesthood is satisfied .
Cf Greenland .
And so it goes and goes .