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


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