MAY 11, 2017 09:18 AM PDT

The rain that never reaches the ground


What happens to the rain that doesn't ever reach the ground? This may sound like a trick question, but it's not. Yes, a lot of rain that never sinks into the earth falls over the ocean, but even rain that does fall over land sometimes doesn't make it to the ground because it evaporates as it goes through warm air. Although it is difficult to measure how much rain exactly evaporated in the sky as its falling, computer simulations have estimated that as much as 40% of rain gets evaporated even before it falls to the earth!

In places where that rain does reach the surface, trees often act as umbrellas blocking the rain from going to the ground, and approximately 15% of the rain that settles on trees' leafs gets evaporated into the atmosphere before it can even drip down to the soil where the trees can actually reabsorb it. That 15% plus the 40% that gets evaporated as it falls through the sky makes up more than half of the rain that clouds produce, resulting in the equivalent of fifteen Amazon Rivers rejoining the sky before they even hit the ground. Who knew?
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
OCT 21, 2019
Videos
OCT 21, 2019
The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp
What's the difference between Marijuana and Hemp? Watch the video below to find out exactly how they differ. Both hemp and marijuana belong to the same...
OCT 21, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 21, 2019
This Mantis Uses Kung Fu Stances to Intimidate Predators
Virtually all mantids are known to science as carnivores, but perhaps unsurprisingly, some other creepy crawlies, such as jumping spiders, will also try to...
OCT 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 21, 2019
Here's What We've Learned About Jupiter From Juno So Far
It seems like it wasn’t too long ago that NASA’s Juno spacecraft entered orbit around Jupiter, but don’t be fooled, as the spacecraft has...
OCT 21, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 21, 2019
How a Venus Flytrap Works
Most people think of plants as being at the bottom of the food chain, but the Venus Flytrap defies this oversimplified way of thinking by devouring meat. W...
OCT 21, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 21, 2019
Imagine a World Without Insects...
People tend to dislike insects, especially ant, beetle, cockroach, and mosquito varieties, but before suggesting that a world without insects would be a wo...
OCT 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 21, 2019
How the Rosetta Mission Augmented Our Understanding of Comets
The European Space Agency (ESA) launched its Rosetta mission in 2004 to study the particularly captivating comet 67P, and after a ten-year journey, the mis...
Loading Comments...