Evapotranspiration (ET) plays a crucial role in the spatial distribution and atmospheric recirculation of precipitation. Due to the unusually large amount of energy required by water for its phase change (from liquid to gaseous), ET plays a major role in regulating the distribution and formation of different climatic zones of the Earth and global climate itself. Water vapor (the result of evapotranspiration) plays a pivotal role in the ongoing climate change by being at least ten times as potent of a greenhouse gas as the much hyped CO2. Understanding the driving/regulating forces of ET over a heterogeneous land surface and accurately predicting the distribution of ET rates across the globe are absolutely key for a better comprehension and future prediction of the precise workings of the global climate engine.
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Jozsef (Joe) Szilagyi