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Seasonal and Inter-annual Variation of Evapotranspiration in Amazonia Based on Precipitation, River Discharge and Gravity Anomaly Data

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posted on 23.09.2019, 13:47 by L Sun, JCA Baker, E Gloor, D Spracklen, H Boesch, P Somkuti, E Maeda, W Buermann
We analyzed seasonal and spatial variations of evapotranspiration (ET) for five Amazon sub-basins and their response to the 2015/16 El Niño episode using a recently developed water-budget approach. ET varied typically between ~7 and 10 cm/month with exception of the Xingu basin for which it varied between 10 and 15 cm/month. Outstanding features of ET seasonality are (i) generally weak seasonality, (ii) two ET peaks for the two very wet catchments Solimões and Negro, with one occurring during the wet season and one during the drier season, and (iii) a steady increase of ET during the second half of the dry season for the three drier catchments (Madeira, Tapajos, Xingu). Peak ET occurs during the first half of the wet season consistent with leaf flush occurring before the onset of the wet season. With regards to inter-annual variation, we found firstly that for the Solimões and Madeira catchments the period with large positive wet season anomalies (2012–2015) is associated with negative ET anomalies, and negative SIF (solar induced fluorescence) anomalies. Furthermore, we found negative ET of several cm/months and SIF (up to 50%) anomalies for most of the Amazon basin during the 2015/16 El Niño event suggesting down-regulation of productivity as a main factor of positive carbon flux anomalies during anomalously hot and dry conditions. These results are of interest in view of predicted warmer and more erratic future climate conditions.


We would like to thank data providers ANA Brazilian hydrological service, TRMM satellite mission, GRACE satellite mission and funding received from NERC FAPESP CSSP Brazil, NERC grant (NE/K01353X/1), NERC BIO-RED (NE/N012542/1) and NERC MOYA project (NE/N015657/1).



Frontiers in Earth Science, 2019, 7:32

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


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The Supplementary Material for this article can be found online at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feart.2019.00032/full#supplementary-material Data Sheet 1. Data records displayed in Figures 1–5 and Figure S1 using CRU (Climate research unit) precipitation data. Data Sheet 2. Data records displayed in Figures 1–5 and Figure S1 using TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) precipitation data.