Articles | Volume 24, issue 4
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 1927–1938, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-1927-2020
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 1927–1938, 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 et al.

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Cited articles

Aminzadeh, M. and Or, D.: The complementary relationship between actual and potential evaporation for spatially heterogeneous surfaces, Water Resour. Res., 53, 580–601, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016WR019759, 2017. 
Avissar, R. and Pielke, R. A.: A Parameterization of heterogeneous land surfaces for atmospheric numerical models and its impact on regional meteorology, Mon. Weather Rev., 117, 2113, https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0493(1989)117< 2113:APOHLS> 2.0.CO;2, 1989. 
Baker I. T., Sellers, P. J., Denning, A. S., Medina, I., Kraus, P., Haynes, K. D., and Biraud, S. C.: Closing the scale gap between land surface parameterizations and GCMs with a new scheme, SiB3-Bins, J. Adv. Model. Earth Sy., 9, 691–711, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016MS000764, 2017. 
Beck H. E., van Dijk, A. I. J. M., Miralles, D. G., de Jeu, R. A. M., Bruijnzeel, L. A., McVicar, T. R., and Schellekens, J.: Global patterns in base flow index and recession based on streamflow observations from 3394 catchments, Water Resour. Res., 49, 7843–7863, https://doi.org/10.1002/2013WR013918, 2013. 
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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.