An Alternative Schematic

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Land involvement is rightfully relegated to a small corner
Figure 5

This pattern of mid-latitude evaporation and high and low-latitude precipitation leads us to propose an alternative schematic for the “Global Water Cycle” (Figure 5).It more accurately depicts the dominance of the ocean-atmosphere processes, and delegates land processes to a more suitable minor role. It is drawn as a north-south section and shows the atmosphere carrying water vapor from evaporation to precipitation regions.It also shows the complementary return flows induced in the ocean.Without those oceanic return flows, regional sea level trends of up to 10 meters per year would develop! This diagram is an oceanographer’s view of the global water cycle.


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Last updated June 13, 2007
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