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Trees and the Hydrological Cycle

The hydrological water cycle is one of the most important functions of the Amazon rainforest. The nearly 390 billion trees act as giant pumps, sucking water up through their deep roots and releasing it through their leaves, a process known as transpiration. One tree can lift approximately 100 gallons of water out of the ground and release it into the air each day!

Nearly 3 billion trees act as giant pumps, sucking water up through their deep roots and releasing it through their leaves, a process known as transpiration.

On a typical day, the trees in the Amazon release 20 billion tons of moisture into the atmosphere, seeding the clouds with rain. As these clouds move westward across the Amazon, moisture is recycled from sky to land five to six times. The Amazon’s hydrological cycle maintains the breadbasket of South America. It provides critical moisture for agriculture and urban water reserves in Central Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and northern Argentina. Studies have found that this moisture cycle regulates rainfall patterns as far as the Midwest in the United States!

There are more trees in the Amazon than stars in the Milky Way.

Deforestation can disrupt the water cycle by decreasing precipitation which can lead to changes in river flow and water volume. Research has shown that the Amazon needs 80% of the trees standing to continue this critical hydrological cycle. The Amazon is now at the tipping point, with approximately 81% of the forests intact. Without the hydrological cycle, it is predicted that the Amazon will turn into grasslands and in some cases desert.

Watch as clouds form over the Amazon basin as part of the hydrological cycle and the river in the sky.

From the Blog: Weather Patterns

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