Evapotranspiration – A Driving Force in Landscape Sustainability


Jan Lambert’s Quick-Take:

This is must reading if you really want to understand the dynamics of climate. No, this is not another piece on fossil fuel emissions! Jan Pokorny and his colleagues are leaders in presenting to all of us the vital interactions of water vapor, plants, and solar energy in creating and maintaining a livable climate.


To comprehend how the changes in evapotranspiration impact landscape sustainability, it is necessary to take a holistic view of landscape functioning and gain understanding of the underlying natural processes. The Earth’s surface has been shaped by water – in interaction with geological processes – for billions of years. Water and the water cycle – along with living organisms – have been instrumental in the development of the Earth’s atmosphere; free oxygen in the atmosphere is the result of the activity of autotrophic, photosynthetic organisms (stromatolites) that evolved in seawater some 3.5 billion years ago. This was the beginning of aerobic metabolism and enabled the evolution of higher organisms, including higher plants.