As physical links between the ground and the sky, plants play an important role in shaping Earth’s weather and climate.
As physical links between the ground and the sky, plants play an important role in shaping Earth’s weather and climate. Now, Stanford University researchers have revealed how a closer look at plants’ inner workings may be able to help improve model predictions of some devastating global disasters.
Flash droughts, which develop rapidly and deplete water availability in a matter of weeks, are associated with changes in evapotranspiration – the process of plants moving moisture from their roots to the air. Water undergoing evapotranspiration is sometimes considered “lost” to the atmosphere, so accurate calculations of this loss can be critical to understanding impacts on water resources and ecosystems.
By analyzing satellite data of both precipitation and moisture belowground, researchers calculated changes in evapotranspiration during droughts that occurred globally from 2003 to 2020. The research, published in Nature Climate Change Oct. 27, reveals more details about evapotranspiration’s role in these devastating events.
Read more at: Stanford University
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