10 Big Evaporation Impacts
#1. COOLING OUR BODIES. Evaporation of sweat cools us down in the summer time when it’s too hot for us otherwise.
#2. COOLING OCEAN MORE THAN LAND. 85% of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth is used to vaporize water. It’s a higher percentage, 90% over ocean, and a lower percentage, about 73% over land, due to the lack of water over land. The remainder heats up the ocean only 10%, but almost triple, 27% over land. So the land heats up much quicker than the ocean.
#3. COOLING TROPICAL FOREST MORE THAN DESERT. Since plants are 91% water and human are 67% water, when plants transpire it’s like when we breathe, and either way it adds to the water vapor. Deserts have very little water, so they heat up very much, while forests add water vapor to the clouds overhead and enhance the clouds and rains over those forests, cooling them down.
#4. COOLING BRAZIL MORE THAN EGYPT. The Amazon tropical rain forest helps keep Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a cool 73 degrees Fahrenheit year round average, while the Sahara desert keeps Cairo, Egypt, a hot 88 degrees year round average, so that both tropical cities have a 15 degree difference in temperature, the difference between hot desert and cool rain forest.
#5. COOLING THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE MORE THAN THE NORTHERN. Discounting the polar regions, three times as much land is in the Northern Hemisphere as the Southern. So before the 44,000 miles ocean current system moderates things, the North is slightly hotter than the South.
#6. CAUSING THE SEASONS TO BE STRONGER IN THE NORTH THAN THE SOUTH. So the January July seasonal spread is three times in the land heavy North as the ocean heavy South, 27 degrees to 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
#7. COOLING NORTH AMERICA MORE THAN EUROPE. Because hot and cold will level out over time with hot ocean waters moving towards cooler land to the far North, the Gulf Stream warms up Europe while the Japan Current warms up Japan. On the back leg of both currents, the California Current and the Labrador Current cool off America. So the seasonality of America is 40 degrees, Europe 30 degrees, even though Europe is much farther North than America. Southern Europe Rome is at about the same latitude as Northern America New York and Chicago, yet America has much colder winters.
#8. MAKING THE SAHARA DESERT THE HIGH SOLAR RADIATION SPOT OVER LAND. Radiation maps of the Earth show the hot spot runs from the Sahara Desert to India, the central area of the Eurasian African supercontinent, where there is most of the Earth’s land in one huge glob. By comparison, the Americas of the Western Hemisphere are much more surrounded with water than the land heavy Eastern Hemisphere that has more than twice the land.
#9. MAKING THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC OCEAN THE HIGH SOLAR RADIATION SPOT OVER OCEAN. The equatorial wind belt builds up clouds and storms from off the continent of Latin America to the South China seas, giving China twice the rain of America. The radiation spot here is lighter than the Sahara land spot due to the lesser heating rates over oceans and the cloud cover from all that vaporization coming from the oceans. Deserts tend to have clear skies.
#10. FEEDING STORMS OVER LAND ESPECIALLY AROUND WATER AREAS. When I watch the green blobs of rain storms coming into the Madison Wisconsin area, I often see sprinkles of green spots around the Mississippi River even on a clear day. Lakes and rivers are important sources of water vaporization over the land. So while the continental rate of warming left over after vaporization may only be 27%, it is closer to 44% in areas of pure land without lots of lakes, ponds, marshes, streams and rivers that whole continents tend to have. That is why weather books list vaporization at about 56% while I use the global continental land figure of 73% for my calculations.
For more detailed information about these ten points, try the following article on my academic website:
Dr. Peace, Dr. Bob Reuschlein,
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