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Water Evaporation From Plants Helps Cool Down The Climate, Study Demonstrates

A team from the Carnegie Global Ecology department have recently concluded that water evaporation on Earth actually cools down the atmosphere and fights global warming, but not in the way you’d be tempted to think.

You probably know from elementary classes that evaporation happens with energy consumption, thus taking the heat from the object and carrying it further. The most relevant example are those shivers you experience when you get out of the water – the evaporation causes you to lose heat – but you already knew that, didn’t you?

Well, some have argued that evaporation is actually bad for the environment, since the water vapors act as greenhouse gases, and that even if the heat is first extracted from the ground by evaporation, it then returns in the form of rain, respecting the second law of thermodynamics – energy cannot be neither created or destroyed.

The Carnegie researchers led by George Ban-Weiss concluded that the way water vapors fight against global warming is by forming low-altitude clouds, which reflect sunlight and heat back into space, thus preventing the further heating of the atmosphere.

A similar study performed last year, by Ken Caldeira, showed increased quantities of CO2 stop plants from sweating. Now, Caldeira, a member in Ban-Weiss’s team, reports:

“This shows us that the evaporation of water from trees and lakes in urban parks, like New York’s Central Park, not only help keep our cities cool, but also helps keep the whole planet cool. Our research also shows that we need to improve our understanding of how our daily activities can drive changes in both local and global climate. That steam coming out of your tea-kettle may be helping to cool the Earth, but that cooling influence will be overwhelmed if that water was boiled by burning gas or coal.”

Global warming may be caused by many things, including fossil fuel consumption, but as common sense suggests, taking down trees and entire forests ruins the Earth’s self-defense mechanism. Stopping the cutting of trees or accelerating the plantation of new vegetation could have has much or even bigger impact than making our cars more fuel efficient.

[via sciencedaily]

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  • jon broadhurst

    yes  more vegetation is needed to cool the earth down and we need to re juice the seas , get free electricity produce more food, iv been looking at this by looking at the earth as a valuable tool . not something to use and through away, sandy storm would not have been as bad if the sea levels were lower , which im shore can be archived and it  can be proved by 1 county but it needs to be world wide as there are 30 plus sites that could be used. if ur intrested in this contact me by email ,,, happy2bloved2@hotmail.co.uk,  regards jon

  • Joe Matthis

    Climate change is happening, it’s been happening since the begining. The level of influence that we have does not compute. The planet has went through several heating and cooling cycles. (Ice ages) All these took place prior to the invention of the automobile. We just dont have enough input into this cycle. Are we adding to the problem? Sure we are but so is everything that breaths or decays. Most of the stuff in our world is carbon based from plants to animals. Here’s the point, global climate change is happening and we just happen to be here and have the ability to notice it. There’s nothing sinister about it, its just the natural order of things. Lets say for a moment that we could solve all our carbon problems in an instant, and climate change happens anyway.

    We need to prepare for climate change and ajust ourselves not try to control something thats way out of our reach. We need to fix us not the planet. I agree things are changing however how best to react is the question. All we ever really have control over is ourselves.

    Climate change is a great motivator for the world to clean up their act and I’m for clean energy. The problem is one of honesty. It truely is a scam even if all the stuff they say isn’t a lie because it’s gona happen anyway. We are not alien to this planet we are not some outside force influencing the system….we live here. Can we do better sure we can and thats what we’re trying to do.

    To take a natural occurance and exploit it to the point that the industrialized portion of the planet needs to pay welfare to the less developed is what it’s about. It’s all about money and control thats why they keep acting like they or we have some control over the enviroment on a scale of climate change. Sorry we just don’t.

  • Joe Matthis

    “Global warming may be caused by many things, including fossil fuel consumption, but as common sense suggests, taking down trees and entire forests ruins the Earth’s self-defense mechanism. Stopping the cutting of trees or accelerating the plantation of new vegetation could have has much or even bigger impact than making our cars more fuel efficient.”

    What??!! Now lets not start using common sense. However their right, planting a tree is the best way to sequester carbon. It fits with the system currently in place. If indeed we believe carbon emmited from our activities is adding to the amount in the atmosphere we can do something about it. Plant a tree. There are more solutions that follow along the common sense route. Like for every ton of coal extracted from the ground we could bury carbon based materials…..oh wait we’re doing that in our land fills. Oh I know lets make something out of these carbon based materials that will be around for years thus sequestering the carbon in a usable form. Drat! We’re doing that too……my coffee table, my kitchen cabinets most of the building materials that make up my house. So in closer examination my existance has a carbon footprint positive and negitive, Hmmm, I wonder if when they are calculating the actual addition and subtraction (simple math) they have taken into account all the varibles. Most of the math I’ve seen highlights only what we add to the carbon cycle and never mentions what we take out of it. Somebody needs new batteries in their calculator. Oh I imagine when it comes down to it human activity has an effect on the carbon cycle. Yes we are adding to the cycle perhaps. Is it the cause of climate change or global warming? I seriously doubt it. Our climate has been changing constantly for as long as it has existed. We somehow think that a system that has been running for several billion years can be manipulated one way or the other by 150 years of anykind of activity. Sorry folks our input is just not great enough. Oh and while we’re trying to controll our enviroment lets see if we can hold back the hands of time as well. Ok so I’m being a smart ass….sorry. It just buns my biscuts to see people pedaling fear for money or influence over policy. People are generally ignorant and easily deceived. The idea of climate change is a great motivator to do things cleaner and better and I’m for the doing, however I’m not for the BS. Stop taking advantage… I dont care how noble your intension is.

    • http://www.greenoptimistic.com Ovidiu Sandru

      You can call it this way, or you can simply look at the next hill you see. Try asking someone who lived there for the past 50 years or so if the landscape hasn’t changed since. I have this place I like to go to a barbecue from time to time (ok, burning wood, but it’s healthier), and each year I see less and less vegetation there, less trees and more human tracks. A few years ago the place was virtually untouched. Don’t tell me that by burning and cutting the planet’s lungs cell by cell you can’t make measurable negative results on the environment. I don’t know whether it’s CO2 or methane or carbon monoxide or the plethora of other harmful gases that get emitted each day that pollute most, but you see things are already more complex than we had been imagining 30 years ago. Ok, we have inputs and outputs in the equation, but even if the natural course of things does its job, we have our own contribution to that. The fact that puzzles me in your theory saying that 150 years of industrialization can’t do much harm is: why are we experiencing these dramatic changes exponentially, year after year…? I don’t claim to have the perfect answer and I know common sense is most of the time subjective and subject to manipulation of all sorts, but we have to somehow pay the bill for what we’re doing. The sad thing is that if we won’t pay it, our children surely will.