In these modern times dominated by talk of climate change and global warming, the process that all students learn to call “The Water Cycle” by third or fourth grade is starting to be affected by these more dramatic forces at work. New calculations are demonstrating the theory that the evaporation of water into the atmosphere reached a maximum peak twelve years ago, and now, what with a warming planet, Earth finds itself facing the dire aftereffects of a whopping decline that only a massive earlier peak could spur into action. Martin Jung, a biochemist from Jena, Germany, and his research crew saw trends in the process of evapotranspiration (the amount of water vapor filtering into the atmosphere) from the year 1982 until 2008. This moisture in the atmosphere is derived from the vapors emitted by two separate entities: evaporation directly off the land via the sun’s heat or by the emission from plants. They found that the evapotranspiration rate rose steadily until 1998 when, as could be expected with Earth’s warming geologic makeup, it capped off at its highest point ever, only to serve as a catalyst for the cycle’s unavoidable, gradual decline. According to members of Jung’s team, all of the water possibly available in some given regions has been sucked up completely, leaving the landscape dry and, figuratively. dying of thirst. Although most of the water that’s been drawn from the ground through the process returns to the Earth as rain, it oftentimes falls elsewhere; leaving places such as Australia incredibly sparse. The team projects that, because the atmosphere is warmer than it used to be, it now has the capability to hold and retain more water than ever before. Thus, a fair amount of the vapors collected from the ongoing water cycle remain in limbo, held fast by the atmosphere and prized away from certain regions across the earth. Therefore, while water is being withheld in the air, there is still the constant demand for it on the surface if the cycle is to continue. So the question begs to be asked: how can we continue to meet the demands of the atmosphere if our supply of water here on the surface continues to dwindle and be absorbed? The discoveries of this research are backed up by the decrease in soil moisture seen across many regions, in addition to the blocking of solar energy that is taking place due to the high influx of air pollution rates. This second part of the problem is the most demanding one at this point in time, because it decides the amount of the soil moisture in the first place. Studies show that while pollution rates decreased across the board throughout the 90s, that improvement in air quality came to an end at the turning of the millenium. Thus, we are facing a huge new crisis in the field of climate change: one that, if not reversed quickly, could drastically affect our planet as a whole to a tremendous, terrifying degree.