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rainfall still remains poorly understood (Meesters et al., 2009). The inadequacy of knowledge on the water
               cycle constitutes a major challenge in foreseeing future water availability and distribution in the context of
               climate change (Marotzke et al., 2017). The uncertainties that exist in the global understanding of the water
               cycle is a direct threat to our ability to safeguard the physical processes that ensure the functioning of these
               intricate  natural  systems  and  their  capacity  to  maintain  fragile  equilibria.  An  important  example  of  a
               knowledge gap is the geographical origin of inland rainfall and the biophysical circumstances required to
               ensure the transport of moisture from ocean land inwards. It is, however, becoming increasingly clear that
               we must not underestimate the value of vegetation cover in this process and in particular that of near-
               continuous coastal forests (Makarieva et al., 2009; O’Connor et al., 2021; Sheil & Murdiyarso, 2009).

               Most studies on the impact of land cover change on the climate rely on climate models, which have become
               increasingly sophisticated over recent years (Sheil, 2018) and have supported the understanding of large-
               scale processes such as large-scale mean precipitation and surface temperature patterns (Flato et al., 2013).
               However,  making  predictions  based  on  models  inherently  assumes  these  models  embody  the  key
               interactions that determine the outcome of changing conditions. Over years of research it has become clear
               that  small-scale  processes  play  an  important  role  in  governing  circulation  responses,  which  cannot  be
               explicitly represented in today’s climate models (Marotzke et al., 2017). Disentangling the complex web of
               causal relationships that make up Earth System is challenging. Simpler climate models that simulate only one
               primary process can help to understand observations and perform sensitivity analyses.
               As highlighted by Marotzke et al. (2017) and Wang-Erlandsson et al. (2022) a crucial strategy in achieving
               breakthroughs in the realm of climate science and Earth system resilience is to adopt an agile, collaborative
               approach that transcends disciplinary boundaries and promotes open data sharing principles. As such, the
               free-flow of ideas may reveal important insights and allows for the cross-examination between simulations
               and observations. Particularly, future research would benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration between
               experts in the field of land surface processes (e.g. plant physiology, soil physics) and those in the field of
               atmospheric science (e.g. boundary layer dynamics and cloud physics) (Beamesderfer et al., 2022). Key gaps
               include ABL height and diurnal/seasonal dynamics, the bi-directional interactions between surface water
               (soil/plant  moisture)  and  the  atmosphere  and  land-aerosol-atmosphere  interactions  (including  cloud
               dynamics and convective precipitation) (Beamesderfer et al., 2022).
               Additionally, targeted observations through ground-based or space-borne monitoring schemes are critical to
               characterise the physical mechanisms of small-scale processes and for model improvement. Sheil (2018) also
               emphasizes the common mismatch between models and observations, but additionally calls attention to the
               limitations of conducting only small-scale field studies, as these will not adequately represent large-scale
               atmospheric  behaviour.  This  stresses  the  need  for  extensive  field  experiments  supported  by  advanced
               monitoring schemes.

               Globally,  more  research  on  these  effects  would  contribute  to  the  development  of  afforestation  ‘best-
               practices’ – which could ensure that both local and global effects of land-cover transitions are favourable
               and the resultant overall radiative forcing contributes positively to Earth’s energy balance.

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