Biotic regulation of the environment is an interdisciplinary scientific concept. During the many years' of its development, a number of results have been obtained that we consider important. These are, for example, the demonstration of the physical instability of the terrestrial climate which, without a stabilizing biotic impact, would spontaneously degrade to the state of either boiling or frozen oceans [link], or our ecological studies demonstrating, among other things, the genetically encoded human right for a large individual territory of the order of several square kilometers per person [link]. However, at present these results either look too global to the lay person to substantiate an appeal for immediate actions, or they demand an understanding of some relatively complex scientific realities for their evaluation. Recently, however, at the interface of the ecological and climatic blocks of the concept, we believe to have obtained some scientific results that can be considered unique in this respect.
The main conclusion is clear and transparent:
If you cut your forest, the winds will not blow from the ocean and will not bring you rain.
After they are scientifically verified and widely discussed and spread, these findings have the potential of appealing to the majority of people of Earth, because the water problem is of everybody's concern.
Due to their high leaf area index, natural forests maintain high transpiration fluxes (thick dark blue arrow), which exceed the evaporation fluxes over the ocean (thin dark blue arrow). The evaporated moisture undergoes condesation and disappears from the gas phase. Air in the atmospheric column above the forest rarifies. In the result, there appears ascending air motion over the forest canopy, which, in its turn, "sucks in" moist air from the ocean (light blue arrow). It then returns to the ocean in the upper atmosphere (dotted arrow) after precipitation of moisture over the continent.
While in the traditional consideration of the water cycle on land it is assumed that the incoming flux of atmospheric moisture from the ocean is a purely geophysical parameter, i.e. an abiotic constraint on the ecosystem's functioning, we have shown that in reality this flux is fully determined by the properties of the terrestrial vegetation cover, in particular, by the flux of evaporation from its surface. The larger this flux, the stronger the winds from the ocean bringing moisture to land. As far as evaporation is highest above natural forest canopies, large forest-covered continental areas enjoy the largest incoming fluxes of atmospheric moisture. When the forests are being destroyed, these fluxes gradually weaken and cease altogether in deserts, since these are completely deprived of vegetation cover. The-chicken-or-the-egg problem of whether forests grow where it is wet, or it is wet where the forests grow, solves unambiguously in favor of the forests' priority.
Apart from demonstrating the decisive role of vegetation cover in water cycle sustainability, the developed physical approach promises new insights into such problems as hurricane formation and global atmospheric circulation. Not the horizontal temperature gradient, but the horizontal gradient of the flux of evaporation appears to be the main driving force of the observed dynamic air flows. We continue our work and are open for collaboration. Your comments are welcome, please, use our feedback form.