The GEWEX LandFlux project: evaluation of model evaporation using tower-based and globally-gridded forcing data

M.F. McCabe, A. Ershadi, C. Jiménez, D. Gonzalez Miralles, D. Michel, E.F. Wood

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Determining the spatial distribution and temporal development of evaporation at regional and global scales is required to improve our understanding of the coupled water and energy cycles and to better monitor any changes in observed trends and variability of linked hydrological processes. With recent international efforts guiding the development of long-term and globally distributed flux estimates, continued product assessments are required to inform upon the selection of suitable model structures and also to establish the appropriateness of these multi-model simulations for global application. In support of the objectives of the Global Energy and Water Cycle Exchanges (GEWEX) LandFlux project, four commonly used evaporation models are evaluated against data from tower-based eddy-covariance observations, distributed across a range of biomes and climate zones. The selected schemes include the Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) approach, the Priestley-Taylor Jet Propulsion Laboratory (PT-JPL) model, the Penman-Monteith-based Mu model (PM-Mu) and the Global Land Evaporation Amsterdam Model (GLEAM). Here we seek to examine the fidelity of global evaporation simulations by examining the multi-model response to varying sources of forcing data. To do this, we perform parallel and collocated model simulations using tower-based data together with a global-scale grid-based forcing product. Through quantifying the multi-model response to high-quality tower data, a better understanding of the subsequent model response to the coarse-scale globally gridded data that underlies the LandFlux product can be obtained, while also providing a relative evaluation and assessment of model performance. Using surface flux observations from 45 globally distributed eddy-covariance stations as independent metrics of performance, the tower-based analysis indicated that PT-JPL provided the highest overall statistical performance (0.72; 61Wm
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-305
JournalGeoscientific Model Development
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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