It is a well-known fact that wind is created due to differences in temperature- when warm air rises and it is replaced by cool one. What is not so well-known, however, is that winds that control atmospheric circulation are formed thanks to condensation of moisture, and a big part of this process occurs over rainforests.
The process itself is relatively simple. Water vapour condenses, reduces in volume, and lowers the pressure, which moves the air.
According to climatologists, this effect is small and only considered in limited few atmospheric models.
However, according to physicist Anastassia Makarieva of St Petersburg University in Russia, the pressure gradients created due to this effect have never been considered theoretically.
Together with a team of scientists from Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia, they conducted a study, which indicates that billions of litters condensed over tropical forests, have a tremendous effect and govern weather patterns around the world.
Critics of the study point out that the way the process is described by the authors is correct, however they question the magnitude compared with other processes.
This is the first time anyone suggests that this process is powerful enough to control winds over the oceans.
The study suggests that cutting rainforests, might not only affect concentrations of carbon in the atmosphere, but also could decrease continental interiors by up to 90 per cent, as stated by co-author Douglas Sheil.
The scientists, however, are certain that replanting of lost forest could bring back rain to the most arid lands.