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Reference evapotranspiration variability and trends in Spain, 1961-2011

In this study we analyzed the spatial distribution, temporal variability and trends in reference evapotranspiration (ET0) in Spain from 1961 to 2011. Twelve methods were analyzed to quantify ET0 from quality controlled and homogeneous series of various meteorological variables measured at 46 meteorological stations. Some of the models used are temperature based (e.g., Thornthwaite, Hargreaves, Linacre), whereas others are more complex and require more meteorological variables for calculation (e.g., Priestley-Taylor, Papadakis, FAO-Blaney-Criddle). The Penman-Monteith equation was used as a reference to quantify ET0, and for comparison among the other methods applied in the study. No major differences in the spatial distribution of the average ET0 were evident among the various methods. At annual and seasonal scales some of the ET0 methods requiring only temperature data for calculation provided better results than more complex methods requiring more variables. Among them the Hargreaves (HG) equation provided the best results, at both the annual and seasonal scales. The analysis of the temporal variability and trends in the magnitude of ET0 indicated that all methods show a marked increase in ET0 at the seasonal and annual time scales. Nevertheless, results obtained suggested substantial uncertainties among the methods assessed to determine ET0 changes, due to differences in temporal variability of the resulting time series, but mainly for the differences in the magnitude of change of ET0 and its spatial distribution. This suggests that ET0 trends obtained by means of methods that only require temperature data for ET0 calculations should be evaluated carefully under the current global warming scenario

This work has been supported by the research projects CGL2011-27574-C02-01, CGL2011-27574-C02-02, CGL2011-27536 and CGL2010-18546 financed by the Spanish Commission of Science and Technology and FEDER, "Demonstration and validation of innovative methodology for regional climate change adaptation in the Mediterranean area (LIFE MEDACC)" financed by the LIFE programme of the European Commission, CTTP1/12 financed by the Comunidad de Trabajo de los Pirineos and Consolidated Research groups: "Clima, Agua, Cambio Global y Sistemas Naturales" and "Geomorfologia y Cambio Global" financed by the Gobierno Regional de Aragon DGA-FSE. The second author was granted by the postdoctoral JAE-DOC043 (CSIC) and JCI-2011-10263 (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation) grants. The third author was supported by the "Secretaria per a Universitats i Recerca del Departament d’Economia i Coneixement, de la Generalitat de Catalunya i del programa Cofund de les Accions Marie Curie del 7e Programa marc d’R+D de la Unio Europea" (2011 BP-B 00078) and the postdoctoral fellowship JCI-2012-12508. The fourth author was supported by the predoctoral FPU program 2010 (Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports)

© Global and Planetary Change, 2014, vol. 121, p. 26-40

Elsevier

Author: Vicente-Serrano, Sergio M.
Azorin-Molina, Cesar
Sánchez Lorenzo, Arturo
Revuelto, Jesús
López-Moreno, Juan I.
González-Hidalgo, José Carlos
Moran-Tejeda, Enrique
Espejo, Francisco
Date: 2014
Abstract: In this study we analyzed the spatial distribution, temporal variability and trends in reference evapotranspiration (ET0) in Spain from 1961 to 2011. Twelve methods were analyzed to quantify ET0 from quality controlled and homogeneous series of various meteorological variables measured at 46 meteorological stations. Some of the models used are temperature based (e.g., Thornthwaite, Hargreaves, Linacre), whereas others are more complex and require more meteorological variables for calculation (e.g., Priestley-Taylor, Papadakis, FAO-Blaney-Criddle). The Penman-Monteith equation was used as a reference to quantify ET0, and for comparison among the other methods applied in the study. No major differences in the spatial distribution of the average ET0 were evident among the various methods. At annual and seasonal scales some of the ET0 methods requiring only temperature data for calculation provided better results than more complex methods requiring more variables. Among them the Hargreaves (HG) equation provided the best results, at both the annual and seasonal scales. The analysis of the temporal variability and trends in the magnitude of ET0 indicated that all methods show a marked increase in ET0 at the seasonal and annual time scales. Nevertheless, results obtained suggested substantial uncertainties among the methods assessed to determine ET0 changes, due to differences in temporal variability of the resulting time series, but mainly for the differences in the magnitude of change of ET0 and its spatial distribution. This suggests that ET0 trends obtained by means of methods that only require temperature data for ET0 calculations should be evaluated carefully under the current global warming scenario
This work has been supported by the research projects CGL2011-27574-C02-01, CGL2011-27574-C02-02, CGL2011-27536 and CGL2010-18546 financed by the Spanish Commission of Science and Technology and FEDER, "Demonstration and validation of innovative methodology for regional climate change adaptation in the Mediterranean area (LIFE MEDACC)" financed by the LIFE programme of the European Commission, CTTP1/12 financed by the Comunidad de Trabajo de los Pirineos and Consolidated Research groups: "Clima, Agua, Cambio Global y Sistemas Naturales" and "Geomorfologia y Cambio Global" financed by the Gobierno Regional de Aragon DGA-FSE. The second author was granted by the postdoctoral JAE-DOC043 (CSIC) and JCI-2011-10263 (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation) grants. The third author was supported by the "Secretaria per a Universitats i Recerca del Departament d’Economia i Coneixement, de la Generalitat de Catalunya i del programa Cofund de les Accions Marie Curie del 7e Programa marc d’R+D de la Unio Europea" (2011 BP-B 00078) and the postdoctoral fellowship JCI-2012-12508. The fourth author was supported by the predoctoral FPU program 2010 (Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports)
Format: application/pdf
ISSN: 0921-8181
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/11849
Language: eng
Publisher: Elsevier
Collection: MICINN/PN 2011-2014/CGL2010-18546
SUR/2011 BP-B 00078
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.06.005
Articles publicats (D-F)
Is part of: © Global and Planetary Change, 2014, vol. 121, p. 26-40
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Escalfament global
Global warming
Canvis climàtics -- Espanya
Climatic changes -- Spain
Sequeres -- Espanya
Droughts -- Spain
Title: Reference evapotranspiration variability and trends in Spain, 1961-2011
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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