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November-December 2017

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Weather Front

NASA Study Shows the Amazon Makes Its Own Rainy Season

It's a self-replicating cycle in the southern Amazon: a rainforest making its own rain. But a new study that shows that water vapor from plant leaves triggers its own rainy season offers an ominous forecast for a region being stripped bare by deforestation.

UCLA researcher Rong Fu said the finding underscores the close connection between the rainforest ecosystem and the climate it inhabits: “The fate of the southern Amazon rainforest depends on the length of the dry season, but the length of the dry season also depends on the rainforest.” 


MIKE BRANOM is a freelance reporter/editor living in Pasadena, California. He was working in a Phoenix, Arizona, parking lot on June 26, 1990, when the city reached its all-time highest temperature (122 degrees).

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