El Nino-La Nina cycle and recent trends in continental evaporation

D.G. Miralles, M.J. van den Berg, J.H.C. Gash, R.M. Parinussa, R.A.M. de Jeu, H.E. Beck, T.R.H. Holmes, C. Jimenez, N.E.C. Verhoest, W.A. Dorigo, A.J. Teuling, A.J. Dolman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The hydrological cycle is expected to intensify in response to global warming. Yet, little unequivocal evidence of such an acceleration has been found on a global scale. This holds in particular for terrestrial evaporation, the crucial return flow of water from land to atmosphere. Here we use satellite observations to reveal that continental evaporation has increased in northern latitudes, at rates consistent with expectations derived from temperature trends. However, at the global scale, the dynamics of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) have dominated the multi-decadal variability. During El Niño, limitations in terrestrial moisture supply result in vegetation water stress and reduced evaporation in eastern and central Australia, southern Africa and eastern South America. The opposite situation occurs during La Niña. Our results suggest that recent multi-year declines in global average continental evaporation reflect transitions to El Niño conditions, and are not the consequence of a persistent reorganization of the terrestrial water cycle. Future changes in continental evaporation will be determined by the response of ENSO to changes in global radiative forcing, which still remains highly uncertain. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)122-126
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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La Nina
El Nino
evaporation
water
trend
Southern Oscillation
Southern Africa
reorganization
supply
hydrological cycle
radiative forcing
water stress
global warming
evidence
moisture
atmosphere
vegetation
temperature

Cite this

Miralles, D. G., van den Berg, M. J., Gash, J. H. C., Parinussa, R. M., de Jeu, R. A. M., Beck, H. E., ... Dolman, A. J. (2014). El Nino-La Nina cycle and recent trends in continental evaporation. Nature Climate Change, 4(4), 122-126. [2]. https://doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE2068
Miralles, D.G. ; van den Berg, M.J. ; Gash, J.H.C. ; Parinussa, R.M. ; de Jeu, R.A.M. ; Beck, H.E. ; Holmes, T.R.H. ; Jimenez, C. ; Verhoest, N.E.C. ; Dorigo, W.A. ; Teuling, A.J. ; Dolman, A.J. / El Nino-La Nina cycle and recent trends in continental evaporation. In: Nature Climate Change. 2014 ; Vol. 4, No. 4. pp. 122-126.
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abstract = "The hydrological cycle is expected to intensify in response to global warming. Yet, little unequivocal evidence of such an acceleration has been found on a global scale. This holds in particular for terrestrial evaporation, the crucial return flow of water from land to atmosphere. Here we use satellite observations to reveal that continental evaporation has increased in northern latitudes, at rates consistent with expectations derived from temperature trends. However, at the global scale, the dynamics of the El Ni{\~n}o/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) have dominated the multi-decadal variability. During El Ni{\~n}o, limitations in terrestrial moisture supply result in vegetation water stress and reduced evaporation in eastern and central Australia, southern Africa and eastern South America. The opposite situation occurs during La Ni{\~n}a. Our results suggest that recent multi-year declines in global average continental evaporation reflect transitions to El Ni{\~n}o conditions, and are not the consequence of a persistent reorganization of the terrestrial water cycle. Future changes in continental evaporation will be determined by the response of ENSO to changes in global radiative forcing, which still remains highly uncertain. {\circledC} 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.",
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Miralles, DG, van den Berg, MJ, Gash, JHC, Parinussa, RM, de Jeu, RAM, Beck, HE, Holmes, TRH, Jimenez, C, Verhoest, NEC, Dorigo, WA, Teuling, AJ & Dolman, AJ 2014, 'El Nino-La Nina cycle and recent trends in continental evaporation' Nature Climate Change, vol. 4, no. 4, 2, pp. 122-126. https://doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE2068

El Nino-La Nina cycle and recent trends in continental evaporation. / Miralles, D.G.; van den Berg, M.J.; Gash, J.H.C.; Parinussa, R.M.; de Jeu, R.A.M.; Beck, H.E.; Holmes, T.R.H.; Jimenez, C.; Verhoest, N.E.C.; Dorigo, W.A.; Teuling, A.J.; Dolman, A.J.

In: Nature Climate Change, Vol. 4, No. 4, 2, 2014, p. 122-126.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - El Nino-La Nina cycle and recent trends in continental evaporation

AU - Miralles, D.G.

AU - van den Berg, M.J.

AU - Gash, J.H.C.

AU - Parinussa, R.M.

AU - de Jeu, R.A.M.

AU - Beck, H.E.

AU - Holmes, T.R.H.

AU - Jimenez, C.

AU - Verhoest, N.E.C.

AU - Dorigo, W.A.

AU - Teuling, A.J.

AU - Dolman, A.J.

PY - 2014

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N2 - The hydrological cycle is expected to intensify in response to global warming. Yet, little unequivocal evidence of such an acceleration has been found on a global scale. This holds in particular for terrestrial evaporation, the crucial return flow of water from land to atmosphere. Here we use satellite observations to reveal that continental evaporation has increased in northern latitudes, at rates consistent with expectations derived from temperature trends. However, at the global scale, the dynamics of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) have dominated the multi-decadal variability. During El Niño, limitations in terrestrial moisture supply result in vegetation water stress and reduced evaporation in eastern and central Australia, southern Africa and eastern South America. The opposite situation occurs during La Niña. Our results suggest that recent multi-year declines in global average continental evaporation reflect transitions to El Niño conditions, and are not the consequence of a persistent reorganization of the terrestrial water cycle. Future changes in continental evaporation will be determined by the response of ENSO to changes in global radiative forcing, which still remains highly uncertain. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

AB - The hydrological cycle is expected to intensify in response to global warming. Yet, little unequivocal evidence of such an acceleration has been found on a global scale. This holds in particular for terrestrial evaporation, the crucial return flow of water from land to atmosphere. Here we use satellite observations to reveal that continental evaporation has increased in northern latitudes, at rates consistent with expectations derived from temperature trends. However, at the global scale, the dynamics of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) have dominated the multi-decadal variability. During El Niño, limitations in terrestrial moisture supply result in vegetation water stress and reduced evaporation in eastern and central Australia, southern Africa and eastern South America. The opposite situation occurs during La Niña. Our results suggest that recent multi-year declines in global average continental evaporation reflect transitions to El Niño conditions, and are not the consequence of a persistent reorganization of the terrestrial water cycle. Future changes in continental evaporation will be determined by the response of ENSO to changes in global radiative forcing, which still remains highly uncertain. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

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SN - 1758-678X

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Miralles DG, van den Berg MJ, Gash JHC, Parinussa RM, de Jeu RAM, Beck HE et al. El Nino-La Nina cycle and recent trends in continental evaporation. Nature Climate Change. 2014;4(4):122-126. 2. https://doi.org/10.1038/NCLIMATE2068