What is…Evapotranspiration?

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Say that ten times fast! Evapotranspiration is going to be popping up in the news a lot so let’s get the run down.

Evapotranspiration (ET) – This term refers to the ‘transport of water into the atmosphere’. Specifically from surfaces including soil (hence the “evapo” for evaporation) and vegetation (transpiration).

Why is this important?
As you may have guessed, evapotranspiration is accelerating due to various factors including climate change in certain areas of the World. With temperatures rising, more water evaporates from surfaces, feeding it into the water cycle, which is now being inundated with more water than usual. Some scientists have found that evapotranspiration has completely ceased in other areas. Their current theory is that we have reached the limit of certain water tables, and the land is not able to ‘give up’ any more water to the system. This is most common in areas that are suffering severe drought and unusual weather patterns due to climate change.

Although this sounds very “sciency” it is an important concept to become aware of and monitor in your own communities. The areas suffering from severe drought tend to be in the Southern Hemisphere including Africa, Australia, and parts of Asia. Although these areas typically have wet and dry seasons, scientists are finding that the dry seasons are far exceeding their limits on the natural balance.

To learn more about evapotranspiration, check out the Encyclopedia of Earth.

Photo Credits.

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Comments

  1. It’s quite worrying how the water tables are drying up of late. The green cover is reducing more and more globally. Even the Amazon rainforests are being cut down rampantly under protection from mafia. :(

    Computer Tip Tricks, I think that may be a very good photoshop picture. If not, it’s really shocking that much water would dry up where it was once possible to swim.

    • Nope, the photograph is actually real. It was taken in Australia during an extreme drought. Sad, but true.

      Glad you all found it useful! This is going to be a larger and larger issue as “peak water” “water scarcity” and “water rights” come into the mainstream’s spotlight more and more.

  2. This is the first time I’m hearing about evapotranspiration and it does sound quite worrying about what’s going on all around. I really hope people in the mainstream are made aware of this sooner rather than later.

  3. Yeah I am not very good at pronouncing that word 10 times. As far as the issue is concerned, its quite sad to see actually. Also amazing to think how such regions can dry up.

    -Jean

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