Articles | Volume 24, issue 4
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-1927-2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-1927-2020
Research article
 | 
16 Apr 2020
Research article |  | 16 Apr 2020

Global assessment of how averaging over spatial heterogeneity in precipitation and potential evapotranspiration affects modeled evapotranspiration rates

Elham Rouholahnejad Freund, Ying Fan, and James W. Kirchner

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Latest update: 15 Jul 2024
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Short summary
Evapotranspiration (ET) rates and properties that regulate them are spatially heterogeneous. Averaging over spatial heterogeneity in precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration (PET) as the main drivers of ET may lead to biased estimates of energy and water fluxes from the land to the atmosphere. We show that this bias is largest in mountainous terrains, in regions with temperate climates and dry summers, and in landscapes where spatial variations in P and PET are inversely correlated.