Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Amazon's flying water vapor rivers bring rain to Brazil
by Staff Writers
Brasilia (AFP) Sept 18, 2012

As devastating drought spreads across much of the globe, British-born pilot Gerard Moss flies above the Amazon rainforest to show how its "flying rivers" -- humid air currents -- bring rain to Brazil and South America.

Aboard his single-engine Embraer 721 aircraft, Moss, a naturalized Brazilian, was on a 45-minute flight from Brasilia to Goiania, capital of the central state of Goias.

"Climate change is taking its toll. The United States is going through its worst drought in half a century, Russia is also reeling from drought and in India monsoon rains have for years been irregular," he told AFP.

"Brazil is less affected because we have the world's biggest tropical forest, which helps regulate the climate."

Deforestation is also a factor. With logging and agriculture shrinking Brazil's rainforests, there are fewer trees to release the water vapor that creates these flying rivers.

The flying rivers travel from the Amazon toward the Andes, which act as a natural barrier and redirect huge vapor masses toward the center-west, southeast and south of Brazil as well as to the north of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname.

"Peru also receives some of that water, but were it not for the Cordillera, it would surely receive it all," Moss said.

During the Goiania-bound flight, Moss monitored an indicator that measures air humidity and helps locate the flying rivers.

"Very few people realize that apart from CO2 capturing, a single tree is capable of sending in the atmosphere more than 1,000 liters a day," he said.

"The entire Amazon basin is a supplier of fresh water for many other parts of Brazil and the northern parts of Argentina, so it is important for the climate and economy of Brazil," he added.

-- Amazon rainforest cleans the planet's air --

He has spent five years trying to spread the message that the Amazon rainforest not only cleans the planet's air but also guarantees humidity and rain in Brazil and part of South America, a huge food producing and exporting region.

Moss, who grew up in Switzerland, arrived in Brazil in the 1980's to work on soybean exports. A decade later, he changed course and decided to devote himself to the environment along with his Kenyan-born wife.

In 2003, they launched their first project to protect Brazil's waters, which provide 12 percent of the planet's fresh water supply. For one year they flew a small seaplane to collect more than 1,000 samples from the country's most remote rivers and lakes.

"We noticed that 85 percent of the water is clean, which shows that Brazil has a great wealth, but also that in inhabitated areas, the water quality is poor," he said.

He once flew eight days above a flying river from the Amazon city of Belem to Pantanal, in the center-west, and Sao Paulo in the south.

"It was a huge mass of water vapor equivalent to what Sao Paulo consumes in 115 days. It was great to publicize our results," he said.

With these results, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) does daily tracking of Amazon humidity currents across the whole of Brazil.

Moss is now busy publicizing the results to further his goal of saving the Amazon.

"The Amazon for many people, for a taxi driver in Sao Paulo, is very far, far away, something that makes no difference. And we want to show that it does make a difference," he told AFP.

"When we lose certain areas of the Amazon through land expansion, maybe cattle, maybe soybean, we have to realize that we are losing ecoservices that will cost us dearly in the future," he said with passion.

"It is a question of trying to change the mentality of the people, we want to save the Amazon basin, we want to save every single tree there."

Scientists believe nearly 20 percent of the Amazon has been destroyed and some fear a point of no return if destruction reaches 35 to 40 percent.

Large-scale deforestation has made Brazil one of the world's top greenhouse gas emitters, but the government has vowed to curb it and has made significant strides in the past decade.

Brazilian authorities confirmed earlier this year that deforestation fell to a record low of 6,418 square kilometers (2,478 square miles) in 2011, down from a peak of 27,000 square kilometers (10,000 square miles) in 2004.


Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The Gravity of Water
Houston TX (SPX) Sep 17, 2012
The signature of drought was easy to read in the southern United States in the summer of 2011. It was in the brown, wilted crops and the bare fields. It was in the clouds of dust that rolled across the sky and in the shrinking reservoirs. It was in the fires that raced through crisp grasslands and forests, devouring homes and wilderness. It was in the oppressive heat that returned day afte ... read more

Remains of astronaut legend Neil Armstrong buried at sea

Memorial service honors 'man on the moon' Armstrong

Chandrayaan II may be delayed, says ISRO Chief

First man on moon to be buried at sea: Armstrong family

NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Reveals Geological Mystery

Opportunity Begins Examining Clay Minerals

Squyres Warns Congress of Threats to Mars Program

India to launch Mars mission in 2013: official

Boeing Establishes Configuration of Commercial Crew Transportation

Mankind's messenger at the final frontier

35 years on, Voyager 'dancing on edge' of outer space

Space-age food served up with seeds of success

Tiangong Orbit Change Signals Likely Date for Shenzhou 10

China Focus: Timeline for China's space research revealed

China eyes next lunar landing as US scales back

China unveils ambitious space projects

Crew Members Prepare for Departure

ISS Crew Lands Safely in Kazakhstan

ISS Crew Enjoys Light Duty Day

Europe's ATV-3 Spacecraft to Readjust Space Station's Orbit

Vandenberg's Fifth Atlas V lifts off

Russian rocket sends European weather satellite into orbit

ISRO's 100th space mission blasts off, PM witnesses historic event

SES signs three satellite launches with SpaceX

Meteors Might Add Methane to Exoplanet Atmospheres

Two 'hot Jupiters' found in star cluster: NASA

Planets Can Form in the Galactic Center

Birth of a planet

The most stable laser in the world

S. Korea's LG Electronics launches new smartphone

European industry develops space safety radar

Boiling Water Without Bubbles

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement