Skip to Main Content
Systematic variation in evapotranspiration trends and drivers across the Northeastern United StatesAuthor(s): Matthew A. Vadeboncoeur; Mark B. Green; Heidi Asbjornsen; John L. Campbell; Mary Beth Adams; Elizabeth W. Boyer; Douglas A. Burns; Ivan J. Fernandez; Myron J. Mitchell; James B. Shanley
Source: Hydrological Processes
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
View PDF (810.0 KB)
DescriptionThe direction and magnitude of responses of evapotranspiration (ET) to climate change are important to understand, as ET represents a major water and energy flux from terrestrial ecosystems, with consequences that feed back to the climate system. We inferred multidecadal trends in water balance in 11 river basins (1940–2012) and eight smaller watersheds (with records ranging from 18 to 61 years in length) in the Northeastern United States. Trends in river basin actual ET (AET) varied across the region, with an apparent latitudinal pattern: AET increased in the cooler northern part of the region (Maine) but decreased in some warmer regions to the southwest (Pennsylvania–Ohio). Of the four small watersheds with records longer than 45 years, two fit this geographic pattern in AET trends. The differential effects of the warming climate on AET across the region may indicate different mechanisms of change in more‐ vs. less‐energy‐limited watersheds, even though annual precipitation greatly exceeds potential ET across the entire region. Correlations between AET and time series of temperature and precipitation also indicate differences in limiting factors for AET across the Northeastern U.S. climate gradient. At many sites across the climate gradient, water‐year AET correlated with summer precipitation, implying that water limitation is at least transiently important in some years, whereas correlations with temperature indices were more prominent in northern than southern sites within the region.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationVadeboncoeur, Matthew A.; Green, Mark B.; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Campbell, John L.; Adams, Mary Beth; Boyer, Elizabeth W.; Burns, Douglas A.; Fernandez, Ivan J.; Mitchell, Myron J.; Shanley, James B. 2018. Systematic variation in evapotranspiration trends and drivers across the Northeastern United States. Hydrological Processes. 32(23): 3547-3560. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13278.
Keywordsenergy limitation, evapotranspiration, water balance, water limitation
- Douglas-fir growth in mountain ecosystems: water limits tree growth from stand to region
- Modeling Actual Evapotranspiration From Forested Watersheds Across the Southeastern United States
- Water yield responses to climate change and variability across the North–South Transect of Eastern China (NSTEC)
XML: View XML