Very interesting presentation of Hubert Savenije (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands) at the 2012 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union. It is very fascinating research showing how much rain on land stems from the recycling of water on land (“precipitation recycling”) – and that is partially huge! Combine this with the “flying rivers” from Antonio Nobre (and others) and the biotic pump from Anastassia Makarieva (and others) – and its a perfect set
Alpha Lo has written a very interesting paper (her part I, here part II) on the way scientists tried to explore, analyse and estimate where the rain comes from (the ocean or/and the land), respectively how much from the one and the other, and what role vegetation plays in this context. In addition, he wrote a fascinating piece called “The climate model approximation that could fundamentally change the climate movement“. Worth reading. All of these!
This graphics [1] very nicely outline the consequences of large-scale logging – and then later monocultural afforestation – on the landscape. Without forest, no more soil, no water absorption, ergo soil erosion, silting, (flash) floods. Coniferous forest monocultures do only help in the short term – they do not form fertile soil, and are harvested in clear-cutting. Solution: Diverse permanent forests. Hmm, that’s not so difficult to understand, is it?! [1]
Great article [1] which portrays the reasons, how and why the approach to climate change, which at the beginning analysed both land changes and greenhouse gases changed to only consider the latter. Starting with a MIT publication called “Inadvertent Climate Modification: Study of Man’s Impact on Climate” in 1971 and a WMO publication “Proceedings of the World Climate Conference: Conference of Experts on Climate and Mankind” in 1979, land use changes were in equal discussion
Nature can’t be seen and analyzed linearly. She is always more complex. That’s why we must look at how the cycles of carbon, water and energy are closely coupled. Here is a draft sketch of mine to show this. How is incoming solar radiation transformed on the ground – producing latent energy (therefore water is needed) or sensible heat? Sensible heat means higher reradiation from the land into the atmosphere – a key factor for
Great podcast [1]: “A conversation with Alpha Lo, physicist and writer of the Climate Water Project, about the importance of slowing water down, the connection between drought, fire, and floods, and the massive role water plays in heating and cooling our planet. Trees create rain not the other way around. There is just so much to learn about water in all its forms, what it does when it’s part of a healthy watercycle or what it
“Regenerating life“: Great documentary by John Feldman on the role of vegetation and healthy soils for climate cooling and the strengthening of the small water cycle. It is a powerful told story, which looks at many aspects of nature’s role producing the right conditions for life. It tells another story of climate change, and the potential we have in changing the path towards the future. It’s not yet available as such, but you can support
Somewhat provocative question: however, if the statement is (somewhat) true: “Regardless of how many greenhouse gas molecules are in the air, what determines the greenhouse gas effect is the amount of reradiation emanating from the earth.” then we should think about the effect of warming from PV systems. In my talks, people often ask about the effect of PV systems – and they do, in fact, have the same effect as open ground or asphalt.
I am not a big fan of “carbon farming”. So many reasons which speak against it, even though the approach in general is well intended. But have a look at this article, and see what big businesses – like Bayer – make out of it. Bayer is the big winner here. It gets increasing control over farmers, dictating exactly how they farm and what inputs they use. Getting more farmers to use reduced tillage or
An sentence from Walter Jehne, which I really found stunning: “Irrespectiable how many greenhouse gas molecules are in the air, the thing that determines the GHG effect is the amount of reradiation coming from the earth. Because we have bared the soil, this soil will heat up much much more so than the soil protected with green vegetation. … We have created 5 billion hectares of man made desert and waste land.” Think about the
This looks like a steep number for me – 31 Gt CO2 (8.4 GtC). In my UNEP publication “Putting Carbon back where it belongs – the potential of carbon sequestration in the soil” (probably published under the head of the division, Jacqueline McGlade, see below), estimates are more in direction of 7.5-11 Gt CO2. Using better farming techniques to store 1% more carbon in about half of the world’s agricultural soils would be enough to
Not good news: More than half of the world’s oceans have changed colors in the past 20 years, becoming more green than blue. The culprit? Climate change. In a study, published Wednesday in Nature, decades worth of research showed 56 percent of the world’s oceans experienced color change between 2002 to 2022. “The study’s authors say that natural instances, like seasonal or yearly variations to phytoplankton blooms, don’t explain the oceans’ shift in color, and
These are (some) important guidelines and/or governing principles for creating climate landscapes, that a group of people from Ecorestoration Alliance came up with. A. Evapotranspiration cools earth B. Small water cycle creates rain C. Hydraulic lift keeps soil wet D. Wetlands cleanse water E. Cities can recycle stormwater F. Organic soil absorbs more rainwater G. Slowing water keeps continents hydrated H. Tile drainage wastes water I. Wetlands humidify winds lessening wildfires J. Wetlands replenish groundwater
Good news: Norway has become the first country to ban deforestation. The Norwegian Parliament pledged May 26 that the government’s public procurement policy will be deforestation-free. Any product that contributes to deforestation will not be used in the Scandinavian country. The pledge was recommended by Norwegian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and Environment as part of the Action Plan on Nature Diversity.
In an interesting article about Patagonia, which just called itself an unsustainable brand, it says in the last paragraph: Patagonia’s rejection of the label “sustainable” is rooted in a deep understanding of human psychology. The concept of being “done” implies a static state, a finish line that suggests there is nothing more to achieve. Patagonia recognizes that this mindset can lead to complacency and stagnation. By acknowledging that it is not a sustainable brand, it
Wow, not so good news… Oceans are heating up, more and more. The ocean absorbs about 90% of the extra heat in the climate system resulting from global warming. But because it takes more energy to heat water than air, the surface water temperature is rising more slowly than the surface air temperature is. I developed a few years ago some graphics (source 1, source 2) on this, which shows the trend too: Incredible, if
A very nice graphic that once again shows how “blue” our planet actually is, and what role the oceans play on this planet – and surely on our climate. We generally only think in terms of “land” – which is already an incredible amount of space. To deal well with Mother Earth and to promote the living (which should also be our goal in agriculture) is much more than just keeping the ground covered (etc.)….
As the only accepted narrative on global warming is the one on CO2 (and other GHG), I wonder since a couple of years what the influence disappearing vegetation, especially deforestation, in conjunction with bare soils, and its disruptions of the small water cycle has on the changing climate. Vegetation means transpiration, which leads to a cooling effect within the ground layer (we need that!), and the transfer of that stored energy in the water vapour
The Club of Rome is disseminating the the latest study on the climatic effects of forests, led by Anastassia Makarieva: Do forests create rain? It is a question that has been debated for a long time. We know that trees produce huge amounts of water vapor that is pumped from humidity in the ground and condensed into clouds that generate rain, but the mechanisms that govern condensation and vapor water movements are still not completely
So important to speak about the small water cycle, the green water next to the blue one, the atmospheric rivers, the role vegetation plays in keeping everything running. Johan Rockström explains different important points on this. Sadly, still nothing about the energy transfer and the role, vegetation plays in cooling the climate.


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