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Weather makers

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Science  19 Jun 2020:
Vol. 368, Issue 6497, pp. 1302-1305
DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6497.1302

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Summary

With their ability to soak up carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen, the world's great forests are often referred to as the planet's lungs. But Anastassia Makarieva, a theorist at the Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute in Russia, says they are its beating heart, too. They recycle vast amounts of moisture into the air and, in the process, also whip up winds that pump that water around the world. The first part of that idea—forests as rainmakers—originated with other scientists and is increasingly appreciated by water resource managers in a world of rampant deforestation. But the second part, a theory Makarieva calls the biotic pump, is far more controversial.

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