Response of evapotranspiration and water availability to changing climate and land cover on the Mongolian Plateau during the 21st century Journal Article


Authors: Liu, Yaling; Zhuang, Qianlai; Chen, Min; Pan, Zhihua; Tchebakova, Nadja; Sokolov, Andrei; Kicklighter, David; Melillo, Jerry; Sirin, Andrey; Zhou, Guangsheng; He, Yujie; Chen, Jiquan; Bowling, Laura; Miralles, Diego; Parfenova, Elena
Article Title: Response of evapotranspiration and water availability to changing climate and land cover on the Mongolian Plateau during the 21st century
Abstract: Adequate quantification of evapotranspiration (ET) is crucial to assess how climate change and land cover change (LCC) interact with the hydrological cycle of terrestrial ecosystems. The Mongolian Plateau plays a unique role in the global climate system due to its ecological vulnerability, high sensitivity to climate change and disturbances, and limited water resources. Here, we used a version of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model that has been modified to use Penman-Monteith (PM) based algorithms to calculate ET. Comparison of site-level ET estimates from the modified model with ET measured at eddy covariance (EC) sites showed better agreement than ET estimates from the MODIS ET product, which overestimates ET during the winter months. The modified model was then used to simulate ET during the 21st century under six climate change scenarios by excluding/including climate-induced LCC. We found that regional annual ET varies from 188 to 286 mm yr(-1) across all scenarios, and that it increases between 0.11 mm yr(-2) and 0.55 mm yr(-2) during the 21st century. A spatial gradient of ET that increases from the southwest to the northeast is consistent in all scenarios. Regional ET in grasslands, boreal forests and semi-desert/deserts ranges from 242 to 374 mm yr(-1), 213 to 278 mm yr(-1) and 100 to 199 mm yr(-1), respectively; and the degree of the ET increase follows the order of grassland, semi-desert/desert, and boreal forest. Across the plateau, climate-induced LCC does not lead to a substantial change (lt;5%) in ET relative to a static land cover, suggesting that climate change is more important than LCC in determining regional ET. Furthermore, the differences between precipitation and ET suggest that the available water for human use (water availability) on the plateau will not change significantly during the 21st century. However, more water is available and less area is threatened by water shortage in the Business-As-Usual emission scenarios relative to level-one stabilization emission scenarios. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: climate change; terrestrial ecosystem model; NET PRIMARY PRODUCTION; TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS; CLIMATE; LEAF-AREA INDEX; stomatal conductance; MODIS; evapotranspiration; land cover change; NITROGEN CONCENTRATION; Mongolian Plateau; INNER-MONGOLIA; ECOTONE; SPACE-TIME; REFLECTANCE DISTRIBUTION FUNCTION; FARMING-PASTORAL; FOREST-STEPPE ECOTONE
Journal Title: Global and Planetary Change
Volume: 108
ISSN: 0921-8181
Publisher: Elsevier  
Publication Place: AMSTERDAM; PO BOX 211, 1000 AE AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Date Published: 2013
Start Page: 85
End Page: 99
DOI/URL:
Notes: PT: J; TC: 0; UT: WOS:000323470800007