Articles | Volume 21, issue 1
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 217–233, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-217-2017
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 217–233, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-217-2017

Research article 11 Jan 2017

Research article | 11 Jan 2017

A Budyko framework for estimating how spatial heterogeneity and lateral moisture redistribution affect average evapotranspiration rates as seen from the atmosphere

Elham Rouholahnejad Freund and James W. Kirchner

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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (further review by Editor) (01 Nov 2016) by Ross Woods
AR by Elham Rouholahnejad Freund on behalf of the Authors (16 Nov 2016)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (17 Nov 2016) by Ross Woods
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Short summary
Our analysis shows that averaging over sub-grid heterogeneity in precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (ET), as typical earth system models do, overestimates the average of the spatially variable ET. We also show when aridity index increases with altitude, lateral redistribution would transfer water from more humid uplands to more arid lowlands, resulting in a net increase in ET. Therefore, the Earth system models that neglect lateral transfer underestimate ET in those regions.