Articles | Volume 24, issue 5
Research article
11 May 2020
Research article |  | 11 May 2020

The pantropical response of soil moisture to El Niño

Kurt C. Solander, Brent D. Newman, Alessandro Carioca de Araujo, Holly R. Barnard, Z. Carter Berry, Damien Bonal, Mario Bretfeld, Benoit Burban, Luiz Antonio Candido, Rolando Célleri, Jeffery Q. Chambers, Bradley O. Christoffersen, Matteo Detto, Wouter A. Dorigo, Brent E. Ewers, Savio José Filgueiras Ferreira, Alexander Knohl, L. Ruby Leung, Nate G. McDowell, Gretchen R. Miller, Maria Terezinha Ferreira Monteiro, Georgianne W. Moore, Robinson Negron-Juarez, Scott R. Saleska, Christian Stiegler, Javier Tomasella, and Chonggang Xu


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Short summary
We evaluate the soil moisture response in the humid tropics to El Niño during the three most recent super El Niño events. Our estimates are compared to in situ soil moisture estimates that span five continents. We find the strongest and most consistent soil moisture decreases in the Amazon and maritime southeastern Asia, while the most consistent increases occur over eastern Africa. Our results can be used to improve estimates of soil moisture in tropical ecohydrology models at multiple scales.