It turns out the Amazon rainforest has a pretty cool party trick
Weird weather is a thing in the Amazon, where it starts raining a couple of months before any H2O has been blown in from the ocean on seasonal winds. Until now no one has been able to explain it, but SPOILER ALERT: It was the trees the whole time.
Yep, the amazon rainforest was sick of waiting for the rain to come so it made some of its own. Got your lab coat on? Keep reading.
Scientists watched the cloud profile over the jungle using a NASA satellite. They determined the clouds were definitely coming from the trees because they contain a water isotope called deuterium. Deuterium can’t be in water from evaporation because it’s heavy.
This means that the trees are releasing enough water vapour during photosynthesis to create their own weather. Nifty.
The plants making their own clouds leads to circulation of air, which leads to winds, which leads to clouds being blown in from the sea, which leads to rain. So, as the saying goes, give a tree some water and it will drink for a day. Give it some deuterium and it will pump it into the atmosphere and drink for a wet season.
This is a fascinating discovery as it shows that plants actively participate in the weather cycle rather than being passive entities in it.