AbstractEvapotranspiration (ET) is a critical term in the surface energy budget as well as the water cycle. There are few direct measurements of ET, and thus the magnitude and variability is poorly constrained at large spatial scales. Estimates of the annual cycle of ET over the Amazon are critical because they influence predictions of the seasonal cycle of carbon fluxes, as well as atmospheric dynamics and circulation. We estimate ET for the Amazon basin using a water budget approach, by differencing rainfall, discharge, and time-varying storage from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment. We find that the climatological annual cycle of ET over the Amazon basin upstream of Óbidos shows suppression of ET during the wet season, and higher ET during the dry season, consistent with flux tower based observations in seasonally dry forests. We also find a statistically significant decrease in ET over the time period 2002-2016 of -1.46 mm/yr. Our direct estimate of the seasonal cycle of ET is largely consistent with previous indirect estimates, including energy budget based approaches, an up-scaled station based estimate, and land surface model estimates, but suggests that suppression of ET during the wet season is underestimated by existing products.
Journal of Hydrometeorology – American Meteorological Society
Published: Jun 22, 2017
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