Spatial variations and long-term trends of potential evaporation in Canada Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • AbstractAssessing the status and trend of potential evaporation (PE) is essential for investigating the climate change impact on the terrestrial water cycle. Despite recent advances, evaluating climate change impacts on PE using pan evaporation (Epan) data in cold regions is hindered by the unavailability of Epan measurements in cold seasons due to the freezing of water and sparse spatial distribution of sites. This study generated long-term PE datasets in Canada for 1979–2016 by integrating the dynamic evolutions of water–ice–snow processes into estimation in the Ecological Assimilation of Land and Climate Observations (EALCO) model. The datasets were compared with Epan before the spatial variations and trends were analyzed. Results show that EALCO PE and Epan measurements demonstrate similar seasonal variations and trends in warm seasons in most areas. Annual PE in Canada varied from 100 mm in the Northern Arctic to approximately 1000 mm in southern Canadian Prairies, southern Ontario, and East Coast, with about 600 mm for the entire landmass. Annual PE shows an increasing trend at a rate of 1.5–4 mm/year in the Northern Arctic, East, and West Canada. The increase is primarily associated with the elevated air temperature and downward longwave and shortwave radiation, with some regions contributed by augmented wind speed. The increase of annual PE is mainly attributed to the augmentation of PE in warm seasons.

publication date

  • December 16, 2020