Rainfall has always been an important part of the planet’s ecological system, by dropping fresh water and acting as natural irrigation for agriculture. Thus far not much attention, however, has been paid to evaporation. Miriam Coenders, Assistant Professor at the Hydrology group of TU Delft, is convinced we should.
Hydrology is a field that has interested Coenders ever since she finished high school. She enrolled at TU Delft, where she focused on hydrology and water management, writing her PhD on interception in the hydrological cycle. It was while working on her PhD that Coenders truly became interested in evaporation and what could be learned from it. “Realizing the importance of evaporation started during my PhD study, where I focused on one specific type of evaporation.” she explains.
“I also learned that knowledge on evaporation was very limited and that big steps could be made.” Evaporation accounts for the largest outgoing flow in the water balance. By using glass fibre optic cables to measure temperature profiles, Coenders found that far more data could be captured about evaporation than had previously been possible. Though not as extensively researched as precipitation, evaporation could be just as important for security of food and dry feet. Knowing its full impact is therefore an important part of understanding the possible effects on climate change.
For Coenders, this new-found knowledge and the way it is measured is worth sharing, and is what will be the focus of her talk during the upcoming salon. It is no surprise that her favorite talks are those related to earth sciences. Undoubtedly, Coenders will add another interesting talk to this particular field, one that will bring new insights into evaporation and its effects on the world we live in.