U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Using MODIS Weekly Evapotranspiration to Monitor Drought
Published: September 01, 2016
Posted: June 26, 2018

The Science 
This paper describes a new, publicly available, high frequency (8 day), 1km, satellite-based estimates of evapotranspiration at the global scale that was assessed on many continents in tropical, temperate, and boreal ecosystems.

The Impact
This approach allows rapid, high frequency, and accurate estimates of evapotranspiration across the globe.  The applications are extensive and range from forecasting, to policy-making, to simulation.
,br> Summary
Models and land managers require estimates of global evapotranspiration for drought impacts predictions.  The approach developed in this paper allows rapid and precise estimates of evapotranspiration at the global scale at nearly weekly temporal resolution.  The approach validated well in a global test.  This approach will be highly valued by both modelers, that need data for evaluation of their predictions, and by land-managers, that need data to assess water stress impacts on ecosystems.

Contacts (BER PM)
Daniel Stover

Dorothy Koch

(PI Contact)
Nate McDowell
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Funding was provided by US Department of Energy Office of Science NGEE-Tropics and Los Alamos National Laboratory director’s funds (Laboratory Directed Research and Development). 

Mu, Q., M. Zhao, S.W. Running, J.S. Kimball, and N.G. McDowell.  “Using MODIS weekly evapotranspiration to monitor drought.”  Proc. SPIE 9975 Optical Engineering and Applications, Remote Sensing and Modeling of Ecosystems for Sustainability XIII 997502 (2016). [DOI:10.1117/12.2237749]

Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Terrestrial Ecosystem Science

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)