Articles | Volume 24, issue 10
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 5015–5025, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-5015-2020
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 24, 5015–5025, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-24-5015-2020

Research article 28 Oct 2020

Research article | 28 Oct 2020

Averaging over spatiotemporal heterogeneity substantially biases evapotranspiration rates in a mechanistic large-scale land evaporation model

Elham Rouholahnejad Freund et al.

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ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (further review by editor) (25 Jun 2020) by Anke Hildebrandt
AR by Anna Wenzel on behalf of the Authors (04 Aug 2020)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (review by editor) (25 Aug 2020) by Anke Hildebrandt
AR by Svenja Lange on behalf of the Authors (02 Sep 2020)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish as is (10 Sep 2020) by Anke Hildebrandt
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Short summary
Evapotranspiration (ET) is the largest flux from the land to the atmosphere and thus contributes to Earth's energy and water balance. Due to its impact on atmospheric dynamics, ET is a key driver of droughts and heatwaves. In this paper, we demonstrate how averaging over land surface heterogeneity contributes to substantial overestimates of ET fluxes. We also demonstrate how one can correct for the effects of small-scale heterogeneity without explicitly representing it in land surface models.