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The Weather Maker

Cornwall’s Eden Project is highlighting the links between climate and rainforests in a major new exhibition called The Weather Maker.

Complexities of the rainforest and climate cycle are brought to life in the Eden Project’s Rainforest Biome as the Weather Maker exhibition explores how rainforests act as air movers, water sweaters, flood defenders, rain makers, sun reflectors and carbon catchers.

The Eden Project worked with climate scientists, including Professor Richard Betts, from the Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of Exeter, to gain access to the latest research.

Professor Richard Betts said: “Rainforests are well named because they have a two-way relationship with the weather. These extensive blankets of forest actually help create rain, as warm moist air rises above the forests. Winds carry moisture from over the ocean, which falls out as rain and is then recycled back to the atmosphere through evaporation. As water evaporates from leaves this has a cooling effect and this effect is amplified as the moisture rises to form clouds above the forest which help to reflect sunlight. Beyond the forests themselves, rainforests have an influence on the global climate by stimulating the circulation of air around the globe and helping to absorb atmospheric carbon as the vegetation grows.”