Skip to main content


Fig. 3 | Forest Ecosystems

Fig. 3

From: Forests, atmospheric water and an uncertain future: the new biology of the global water cycle

Fig. 3

A schematic of how condensation driven winds develop between ocean and forest. a Morning: the atmosphere is still and dry (pink colour). Once the sun rises the forest emits water vapour (vertical arrows) at a greater rate per unit area than the ocean. Slowly, through the day (b) and (c) moisture accumulates over the forest (bluer colour), until (d) the water vapour over the forest is sufficient to condense (possibly accelerated by aerosols). This condensation reduces local air pressure thus drawing in moist air from elsewhere (horizontal arrows). In contrast to the slow evaporation of water vapour, condensation occurs quickly, and leads to air being drawn in, converging, rising, cooling and condensing additional moisture in a self-sustaining process. Moisture generated locally via forest evaporation precipitates together with much additional moisture brought from the ocean. This additional moisture is what ensures land remains wet counteracting the loss of water via rivers to the ocean

Back to article page