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What determines the sign of the evapotranspiration response to afforestation in European summer?

Breil, Marcus; Davin, Eduardo L.; Rechid, Diana

Uncertainties in the evapotranspiration response to afforestation constitute a major source of disagreement between model-based studies of the potential climate benefits of forests. Forests typically have higher evapotranspiration rates than grasslands in the tropics, but whether this is also the case in the midlatitudes is still debated. To explore this question and the underlying physical processes behind these varying evapotranspiration rates of forests and grasslands in more detail, a regional model study with idealized afforestation scenarios was performed for Europe. In the first experiment, Europe was maximally forested, and in the second one, all forests were turned into grassland.

The results of this modeling study exhibit the same contradicting evapotranspiration characteristics of forests and grasslands as documented in observational studies, but by means of an additional sensitivity simulation in which the surface roughness of the forest was reduced to grassland, the mechanisms behind these varying evapotranspiration rates could be revealed. Due to the higher surface roughness of a forest, solar radiation is more efficiently transformed into turbulent sensible heat fluxes, leading to lower surface temperatures (top of vegetation) than in grassland. ... mehr

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DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000130797
Veröffentlicht am 23.03.2021
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung - Forschungsbereich Troposphäre (IMK-TRO)
KIT-Zentrum Klima und Umwelt (ZKU)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1726-4170, 1726-4189
KITopen-ID: 1000130797
Erschienen in Biogeosciences
Verlag Copernicus Publications
Band 18
Heft 4
Seiten 1499-1510
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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