May is the month that makes us crave for rains. In the sizzling heat, sweat running down our backs, we talk about deforestation, global warming, melting glaciers and depleting ozone layers. Gazing intently at the sky, we ask, “When is it going to rain?”
But how many times have we asked, “How does it rain?” If everyone had cared to ask that, and had stopped abusing nature, rains would have been more regular and abundant.
As the clouds start rolling in, wouldn't it be a good idea to revisit the classroom we were in ‘once upon a time’? Wouldn't it be worthwhile to realise how we have been abusing Nature, and tinkering with its monsoon-mechanism?The CycleLook at the ponds, rivers, lakes and oceans. The Sun’s heat causes the water in them to evaporate and rise. When it reaches the atmosphere where the temperature is cool, it condenses into tiny droplets. These droplets being light, remain aloft as clouds. However they soon begin to grow larger and heavier by sticking with other tiny droplets. When too heavy to remain afloat, they come down to the earth as rain.
This rain water seeps deep into the soil, or flows into the ponds, rivers, lakes, and the oceans, thus completing a cycle.
Wind MovesDuring summer, the landmass heats up more quickly than the ocean. Naturally the air over the warm land also gets heated. Being less dense, this warm air starts rising, creating a low pressure. To this low pressure area, the cool humid air from the ocean rushes in. Almost simultaneously, the rising warm air over the land moves towards the ocean to replace this cool air. The wind thus begins to move in a natural cycle.How does it Rain?As the warm air over the land starts rising, it absorbs water vapour from the humid ocean breeze. It reaches a height where the cool atmosphere condenses this water vapour into tiny droplets. When several of them collide and stick to one another, these tiny droplets become larger. They soon become too heavy to remain afloat, and fall down to the earth as rain.Rain TreesOn a hot day, you find how cool it is under a tree than inside a building. This is because the leaves of the tree breathe out water vapour, helping to cool the air around it, the same way as a mud-pot cools the water in it. This is how forests precipitate rain, helping to cool the atmosphere and the clouds passing through them.
The World Resources Institute reports that up to 80% of the Earth’s natural forests have already been destroyed. Some researchers even warn that the next war may be fought over natural water resources.
Finding a chemical alternative for Petroleum may be possible, but can there be a substitute for nature?