Solar energy dissipation and temperature control by water and plants

Jan Pokorný, Jakub Brom, Jan Čermák, Petra Hesslerová, Hanna Huryna, Nadia Nadezhdina, Alžběta Rejšková

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Ecosystems use solar energy for self-organisation and cool themselves by exporting entropy to the atmosphere as heat. These energy transformations are achieved through evapotranspiration, with plants as 'heat valves'. In this study, the dissipative process is demonstrated at sites in the Czech Republic and Belgium, using landscape temperature data from thermovision and satellite images. While global warming is commonly attributed to atmospheric CO2, the research shows water vapour has a concentration two orders of magnitude higher than other greenhouse gases. It is critical that landscape management protects the hydrological cycle with its capacity for dissipation of incoming solar energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-336
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Water
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Albedo
  • Ecosystems
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Radiative forcing
  • Remote sensing
  • Sensible heat
  • Temperature variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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