Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1007/s00382-020-05547-1
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Contrasting controls on Congo Basin evaporation at the two rainfall peaks
Author Crowhurst, D.; Dadson, S.; Peng, J. ORCID logo ; Washington, R.
Source Titel Climate Dynamics
Year 2021
Department RS
Volume 56
Issue 5-6
Page From 1609
Page To 1624
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords Congo Basin; Evaporation; Transpiration; LandFlux-EVAL; ERA5-Land
Abstract Evaporation is a crucial driver of Congo Basin climate, but the dynamics controlling the seasonality of basin evaporation are not well understood. This study aims to discover why evaporation on the basin-wide average is lower at the November rainfall peak than the March rainfall peak, despite similar rainfall. Using 16-year mean LandFlux-EVAL data, we find that evaporation is lower in November than March in the rainforest and the eastern savannah. The ERA5-Land reanalysis, which effectively reproduces this pattern, shows that transpiration is the main component responsible for lower evaporation in these regions. Using ERA5-Land, we find the following contrasting controls on transpiration, and therefore evaporation, at the two rainfall peaks: (a) In the northern rainforest, there is lower leaf area index (LAI) in November, driven by lower surface downward shortwave radiation (DSR), and lower vapour pressure deficit (VPD) in November, driven by lower sensible heat flux that results from lower net radiation. The combination of lower LAI and VPD explains lower transpiration, and therefore lower evaporation, in November. (b) In the southern rainforest, and in the north-eastern savannah, there is lower LAI in November, driven by lower surface DSR, and this explains lower transpiration, and therefore lower evaporation, in November. (c) In the south-eastern savannah, there is lower LAI in November, driven by lower volumetric water content (VWC), and this explains lower transpiration, and therefore lower evaporation, in November. Collectively, these contrasting controls at the two rainfall peaks explain why the basin-wide average evaporation is lower in November than March.
Persistent UFZ Identifier https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=24098
Crowhurst, D., Dadson, S., Peng, J., Washington, R. (2021):
Contrasting controls on Congo Basin evaporation at the two rainfall peaks
Clim. Dyn. 56 (5-6), 1609 - 1624