MAY 11, 2017 9:18 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
DEC 28, 2020
Space & Astronomy
China Willing to Share New Moon Samples
DEC 28, 2020
China Willing to Share New Moon Samples
China has recovered the first new moon rock samples in decades, and from a previously unexplored part of the moon. Now w ...
JAN 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
JAN 08, 2021
New Findings Suggest Dark Matter Doesn't Exist
The existence of dark matter has been considered a 'given' for decades as a way to understand some of the less e ...
JAN 08, 2021
Neuroscience
Brain Scans Show Why Comedy-News Shows are More Memorable
JAN 08, 2021
Brain Scans Show Why Comedy-News Shows are More Memorable
Comedy-news shows such as those by Trevor Noah, John Oliver, and Samantha Bee on the rise and are especially popular amo ...
FEB 20, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
FEB 20, 2021
Mars Perseverance Rover Gets Ready to Find Life on Mars
NASA scientists have confirmed that their car-sized Perseverance Mars rover is 'healthy' following its arrival o ...
MAR 03, 2021
Plants & Animals
Can Arctic Bearded Seals Compete with Human Noise?
MAR 03, 2021
Can Arctic Bearded Seals Compete with Human Noise?
Vocal communication is a primary key to survival for many species, including the Arctic Ocean's bearded seals. Accor ...
MAR 18, 2021
Space & Astronomy
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
MAR 18, 2021
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
Researchers have hypothesized that a certain mechanism may mean there are many more water-rich planets with atmospheres ...
Loading Comments...