The continued destruction of forests, the deterioration of soils, the subsequent loss of terrestrial soil water storage and the reduction of water retention in the landscape are disrupting the movement of water in and through the atmosphere. This disruption causes major shifts in precipitation that could lead to less rainfall and more droughts in many areas of the world, increases in regional temperatures and an exacerbation of climate change. These changes affect regional climate, but can also impact regions far away. Understanding the interwoven relationships and the subsequent fluxes of energy between plants, soils and water on the ground, as well as in the atmosphere, can help mitigate climate change and create more resilient ecosystems.