Biotic regulation: Abstract
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Hot topic: Biotic pump of atmospheric moisture



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Gorshkov V.G., Makarieva A.M. (2006) Biotic pump of atmospheric moisture, its links to global atmospheric circulation and implications for conservation of the terrestrial water cycle. Preprint No. 2655, Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, Gatchina, Russia, 47 pp. PDF (840 Kb).
Based on the analysis of the non-equilibrium vertical distribution of atmospheric water vapor, a physical principle is formulated according to which the low-level air moves from areas with weak evaporation to areas with more intensive evaporation. Air motion is supported by the difference in the evaporation forces in the considered area. The introduced evaporation force is upward directed; it arises due to the fact that the vertical distribution of the condensable water vapor in the atmosphere deviates strongly from the hydrostatic equilibrium, the effect caused by the observed vertical lapse rate of air temperature. Evaporation force is the cause of the observed horizontal pressure gradient forces, exceeding them by more than two orders of magnitude. It explains the existence of deserts, monsoons and trade winds. Due to the high leaf area index, natural forests maintain high transpiration fluxes, which support ascending air motion over the forest and "suck in" moist air from the ocean, which is the essence of the biotic pump of atmospheric moisture. In the result, the gravitational runoff water losses from the optimally moistened forest soil can be fully compensated by the biotically enhanced precipitation at any distance from the ocean. In the absence of the biotic pump, precipitation over non-forested territories declines exponentially with distance from the ocean, with the established e-folding lengths of the order of several hundred kilometers.
Related publications: Makarieva, Gorshkov, Pujol (2003) ACPD
to publications of VG Gorshkov and AM Makarieva

Main page in English Russian version of current document   Modified 5 November 2006.
© 2006 V.G. Gorshkov, A.M. Makarieva