Response of global land evapotranspiration to climate change, elevated CO2, and land use change

Jianyu Liu, Yuanyuan You, Jianfeng Li, Stephen Sitch, Xihui Gu, Julia E.M.S. Nabel, Danica Lombardozzi, Ming Luo, Xingyu Feng, Almut Arneth, Atul K. Jain, Pierre Friedlingstein, Hanqin Tian, Ben Poulter, Dongdong Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Climate change (CLI), elevated CO2 concentration (CO2), and land use change (LUC) have strongly altered land evapotranspiration (ET) during the recent decades. The fingerprints of these drivers in ET change, however, have not previously been detected due to the lack of these three scenarios from global climate models (GCMs). Here we applied an optimal fingerprint method to detect and attribute ET change by integrated utilization of state-of-the-art global ecosystem models and GCMs. Results indicate that CLI provides the greatest contribution to increasing ET, and its fingerprint is detectable at different timescales. CO2 reduces ET in most areas covered by forests. LUC decreases ET over the tropics, while increases ET over temperate and high-latitude regions. To further subdivide the impacts of CLI, we extend the Budyko framework to quantify the contribution of precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration (PET) and find that the dominant role of CLI mainly depends on the contribution of P.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108663
JournalAgricultural and Forest Meteorology
StatePublished - Dec 15 2021


  • Budyko
  • Climate change
  • Detection and attribution
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Land use change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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