Amazon rainforest is known as the largest river on the Earth. However, the largest river on Earth is in the sky. The largest river has been discovered by scientists in the sky above the Amazon rainforest.
This river of vapour that comes up from the forest is of warm air and forms clouds and create rainfalls. The trees in the Amazon suck up water from the ground and releases tonnes of water vapour a day which converts into vast “flying rivers”.
According to the report published by newscientist.com these rivers of warm air get transported across the atmosphere and play a major role in the creation of vast openings in Antarctic sea ice.
However, these rivers are drying up. Diana Francis at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and her colleagues combined satellite records and climate data of major polynya events in the Weddell Sea on the Antarctic coast in 1973 and 2017.
What they have found is that the flows of heat and water vapour in the sky which is known as atmospheric rivers moved from the south-eastern coast of South America down to the Weddell Sea in 2017 and during September the temperature of Weddell Sea increased by 10 degree celsius.
Francis is also quoted as saying, “The atmospheric rivers also make the storms more intense because they provide more water vapour. They are linked, not independent”.
This increase in temperature leads to melting Arctic sea ice, which can speed up climate change. The study also suggests that the frequency of atmospheric river might increase by around 50 per cent if carbon emissions stay high.
What is river in the Sky?
River in the sky or atmospheric rivers are long, narrow regions in the atmosphere that carries a significant amount of water vapour and when they make landfall, the water vapour is released in the form of rain or snow. These rivers in the sky come in many shapes and sizes.
The river containing the largest amounts of water vapour and the strongest winds might leads to extreme rainfall and floods. Atmospheric rivers play an important role in the global water cycle and are closely tied to both water supply and flood risks — especially in the western United States.