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

BER Research Highlights


AmeriFlux Contributes New Insights into Evapotranspiration
Published: October 25, 2010
Posted: November 03, 2010

Large scale changes in the Earth's water cycle have been hypothesized to result from global warming. DOE-funded investigators and DOE's AmeriFlux network report in Nature evidence of systematic changes in global land evapotranspiration, although the authors are not able to assign causality to the changes. Using a combination of long-term observational (including data from numerous AmeriFlux sites), meteorological and remote sensing records, combined with model results, the authors identify a systematic increase in global land evapotranspiration from 1982 to 1997. From 1998 to 2008, this trend appears to have declined or leveled off. The authors suggest that soil moisture limitations, particularly in the southern hemisphere are responsible for the change. If this continues over the long-term, it may indicate that climate-driven changes in terrestrial hydrological cycles exist and that there are limits to the ability of these cycles to respond to changing climate.

Reference: Jung, M., M. Reichstein, P. Ciais, S. Seneviratne, J. Sheffield, M. Goulden, G. Bonan, A. Cescatti, J. Chen, R. de Jeu, A. J. Dolman, W. Eugster, D. Gerten, D. Gianelle, N. Gobron, J. Heinke, J. Kimball, B. Law, L. Montagnani, Q. Mu, B. Mueller, K. Oleson, D. Papale, A. Richardson, O. Roupsard, S. Running, E. Tomelleri, N. Viovy, U. Weber, C. Williams, E. Wood, S. Zaehle, and K. Zhang. 2010. "Recent Decline in the Global Land Evapotranspiration Trend Due to Limited Moisture Supply," Nature 467, 951–954. DOI: 10.1038/nature09396.(Reference link)

Contact: Mike Kuperberg, SC-23.1, (301) 903-3281
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)