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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  October 2009  /  Uncertainty in estimating evapotranspiration under climate change

Uncertainty in estimating evapotranspiration under climate change

Previously unconsidered source of uncertainty may alter water resource projections

Uncertainty in estimating evapotranspiration under climate change

Research conducted by Daniel Kingston with Dr Richard Taylor, Dr Julian Thompson (UCL), Professors Martin Todd (Sussex) and Nigel Arnell (Reading) shows that different methods of estimating evapotranspiration, a key source of uncertainty in water budgets, respond differently to projections of climate change. Their analyses, published online this week in Geophysical Research Letters, also show that this overlooked source of uncertainty is possibly substantial enough to determine the direction of projected changes in water resources (i.e. between wetter/drier). The team compared the global response of six commonly used methods to project the effects of a 2 degree Celsius rise in global mean temperature. Their findings have important implications for future assessments of changes in the hydrological cycle and also the interpretation of past studies. The research was funded by a NERC consortium grant, Global-Scale Impacts of Climate Change, under the NERC QUEST programme (QUEST-GSI). For more details, follow the links:


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