This is the publisher’s final pdf. The published article is copyrighted by Macmillan Publishers Limited and the Nature Publishing Group and can be found at: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/index.html. To the best of our knowledge, one or more authors of this paper were federal employees when contributing to this work.Hydrological processes in the humid tropics differ from other regions in having greater energy inputs and faster rates of change, including human-induced change. Human influences on population growth, land use and climate change will profoundly influence tropical hydrology, yet understanding of key hydrological interactions is limited. We propose that efforts to collect tropical data should explicitly emphasize characterizing moisture and energy fluxes from below the ground surface into the atmosphere. Research needs to chiefly involve field-based characterizations and modelling of moisture cycling and catchment processes, as well as long-term data acquisition and organization
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