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in vegetal biomass – particularly in regions with high Vegetation-regulated Moisture Recycling (VMR) – can
               have critical effects on the amount downwind precipitation (Keys et al., 2016).

               The combined effects of land cover changes thus have widespread implications for weather and climate
               dynamics (Anthes, 1984). The myriad effects from land cover change often have opposing signs in radiative
               forcing, making their combined feedbacks critical for understanding the net climate impact (Bright et al.,
               2015). Integrating all the physical effects of land degradation and restoration remains a challenge. Site-
               specific atmosphere–biosphere interactions and feedbacks should be considered with respect to their local
               and global impacts. Efforts to regain losses in structure and functioning of land surfaces must take on a
               predictive and proactive approach, based on an understanding of the local water cycle and the root causes
               of degradation, and a recognition of the nonstationary nature and uncertainty of climate trends (Milly et al.,

               The forcing and feedback from changes in the sensible heat flux due to the degradation of the biosphere has
               been hidden in the shadow of the dominant CO2/GHG narrative. Studies show that land cover changes and
               the resultant energy balance perturbations have had significant impacts on the global water cycle (Wang-
               Erlandsson et al., 2022) and the atmospheric energy budget (Duveiller et al., 2018). For example, land use
               change is a dominant contributor to global-mean temperature and precipitation change through alterations
               of the latent and sensible heat fluxes (Mahmood et al., 2013; Perugini et al., 2017) as well as a driver in
               changing climate extremes (Sy & Quesada, 2020). The regional and global effects of landscape conversion
               are inherently location-dependent (Mahmood et al., 2013), and there is still a high level of uncertainty in
               quantifying these effects (Perugini et al., 2017). As such, we must avoid basing actions entirely on generalised
               statements on the benefits or drawbacks of re- or afforestation, but rather on site-specific research that
               reveals the coupling between ecosystem dynamics and global climate feedbacks (Mahmood et al., 2013).

               3.2   Atmospheric moisture recycling and terrestrial precipitation

               Freshwater  scarcity  is  one  of  humanity’s  most  pressing  issues,  which  has  not  only  left  billions  without
               adequate access to drinking water, but also threatens our global food security and heightens the risk of social
               conflicts and increases the spread of diseases (Gleick & Cooley, 2021). Precipitation is the only sustainable
               fresh water source that exists and thus the promotion of precipitation across terrestrial surfaces is crucial
               towards  ensuring  reliable  access  to  freshwater.  There  is  no  ‘one-size-fits-all’  approach  to  enhance
               precipitation on land because of the heterogeneity of surface conditions such as orography, distance to coast
               and  mean  insolation.  Precipitation  is,  however,  a  function  of  a  number  of  distinct  factors  that  can  be
               leveraged  in  order to  produce  the environmental  conditions  for  precipitation  to  occur,  one  of which  is
               evaporation (Anthes, 1984).

               In the past, biogeographers generally assumed that local precipitation is an external variable that is not
               influenced by vegetation (van Noordwijk & Ellison, 2019), but an increasing number of studies have now
               proven this assumption to be incorrect (Alton et al., 2009; Ellison et al., 2017; Gong et al., 2017; Keys et al.,
               2017; Makarieva et al., 2013; Millán et al., 2005; Savenije, 1995, 1996; te Wierik et al., 2021; van der Ent et
               al., 2010; Wang-Erlandsson et al., 2014). The mechanistic role of vegetation reduction on drought spells
               (Savenije, 1995) and the role that terrestrial vegetation plays in transporting moisture from oceanic origin
               land inwards (Keys et al., 2016; Makarieva et al., 2013) are two highly relevant findings that may be the key
               to restoring rainfall.

               A ‘precipitation shed’ describes spatial origin of moisture (where it has evaporated from) that falls as rain in
               a  specific  location  (van  der  Ent  et  al.,  2010).  An  understanding  of  the  origin  of  moisture  opens  up
               opportunities to improve governance of the global distribution of water, but also allows for strategic action
               towards water cycle regeneration. In continental catchments moist airmasses (‘sea breeze’) are formed over
               water bodies and travel across terrestrial surfaces, the added moisture through evapotranspiration from land

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