Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 125 Issue 6 August 2016 pp 1245-1253
Terrestrial latent heat flux (LE) in the Three-River Headwaters region (TRHR) of China plays an essential role in quantifying the amount of water evaporation and carbon sink over the high altitude Tibetan Plateau (TP). Global warming is expected to accelerate terrestrial hydrological cycle and to increase evaporation. However, direct field observations are lacking in this region and the long-term variability in LE remains uncertain. In this study, we have revised a semi-empirical Penman LE algorithm based on ground eddy covariance (EC) observations from an alpine grass site and provided new satellite-based evidence to assess LE change in the TRHR during 1982–2010. Our results show that the average annual terrestrial LE in the TRHR is about 38.8 W/m$^2$ and there is no statistically significant changein annual LE from 1982 to 2010. We also found that during the same time period, terrestrial LE over the east region of the TRHR significantly decreased, on average, by 0.7 W/m$^2$ per decade, which was driven primarily by the surface incident solar radiation (Rs) limitation, offsetting the increased LE over the west region of the TRHR caused by the increased precipitation (P) and soil moisture (SM).
Volume 126 Issue 8 December 2017 Article ID 0119