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Estimating potential evaporation from vegetated surfaces for water management impact assessments using climate model output

Bell, Victoria A.; Gedney, Nicola; Kay, Alison L.; Smith, Roderick N.B.; Jones, Richard G.; Moore, Robert J. 2011 Estimating potential evaporation from vegetated surfaces for water management impact assessments using climate model output. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 12 (5). 1127-1136. 10.1175/2011JHM1379.1

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Abstract/Summary

River basin managers concerned with maintaining water supplies and mitigating flood risk in the face of climate change are taking outputs from climate models and using them in hydrological models for assessment purposes. While precipitation is the main output used, evaporation is attracting increasing attention because of its significance to the water balance of river basins. Climate models provide estimates of actual evaporation that are consistent with their simplified land surface schemes but do not naturally provide the estimates of potential evaporation (PE) commonly required as input to hydrological models. There are clear advantages in using PE estimates controlled by atmospheric forcings when using stand-alone hydrological models with integral soil-moisture accounting schemes. The atmosphere–land decoupling approximation that PE provides can prove to be of further benefit if it is possible to account for the effect of different, or changing, land cover on PE outside of the climate model. The methods explored here estimate Penman–Monteith PE from vegetated surfaces using outputs from climate models that have an embedded land surface scheme. The land surface scheme enables an examination of the dependence of canopy stomatal resistance on atmospheric composition, and the sensitivity of PE estimates to the choice of canopy resistance values under current and changing climates is demonstrated. The conclusions have practical value for climate change impact studies relating to flood, drought, and water management applications.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1175/2011JHM1379.1
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 1 - Variability and Change in Water Systems > WA - 1.3 - Model, attribute and predict impacts of climate and land cover change on hydrological and freshwater systems
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.3 - Better represent hydrological and biogeochemical processes in Earth System Models
CEH Sections: Reynard
Boorman
ISSN: 1525-755X
Additional Keywords: evaporation, climate models, vegetation-atmosphere interactions
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Hydrology
Date made live: 08 Nov 2011 14:55
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/15791

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