EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Multi-model projections of evaporation in a sub-tropical lake

Sofia La Fuente1, Iestyn Woolway1,2, Eleanor Jennings1, Gideon Gal3, Georgiy Kirillin4, Tom Shatwell5, Robert Ladwig6, Tadhg Moore1,7, Raoul-Marie Couture8, Marianne Côté8, and Love Råman Vinnå9,10
Sofia La Fuente et al.
  • 1Centre for Freshwater and Environmental Studies, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Dundalk, Ireland
  • 2European Space Agency Climate Office, ECSAT, Harwell Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK
  • 3Kinneret Limnological Laboratory, Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research, Migdal, Israel
  • 4Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), Berlin, Germany
  • 5Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Department of Lake Research, Magdeburg, Germany
  • 6Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
  • 7Virginia Tech, Department of Biological Sciences, Blacksburg, VA, USA
  • 8Centre for Northern Studies (CEN), Takuvik Joint International Laboratory, and Department of Chemistry, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC, Canada
  • 9Centre for Hydrogeology and Geothermics, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
  • 10Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Surface Waters – Research and Management, Kastanienbaum, Switzerland

Evaporation of surface water is critical to the basic functioning of lakes. It directly and, in some cases, substantially modifies the hydrologic, chemical, and energy budgets, making evaporation one of the most important physical controls on lake ecosystems. Predicting lake evaporation response to climate change is, therefore, of paramount importance. Most studies that simulate climate change impacts on lake evaporation have utilised only a single mechanistic model. Whilst such studies have merit, the advantage of applying multiple, independently developed models (i.e., an ensemble approach), is that some of the inherent uncertainties in the individual lake models due to, for example, different model structures, can be reduced thus enabling increased robustness of historic and future projections. In this study, we present results from the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project phase 2b (ISIMIP) Lake Sector, where lake evaporation responses to 20th and 21st century (1901-2099) climate change has been simulated with a suite of independently developed lake models under different climate change scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways, RCP, 2.6, 6.0 and 8.5). Our study focuses on Lake Kinneret (Israel), a sub-tropical monomictic lake of socioeconomic importance. Our simulations are validated during the historic period with bulk evaporation estimates calculated from high frequency meteorological and in-lake observations. Our results demonstrate that the lake models provide an accurate representation of historical variability in lake evaporation, with promising comparisons of the magnitude, timing and seasonality of evaporative water loss. Future evaporation projections at Lake Kinneret show that evaporation anomalies will increase by the end of the century. We show that multi-model projections of lake evaporation can accurately represent the historic period and hence provide reliable future projections that will be vital for water management.

How to cite: La Fuente, S., Woolway, I., Jennings, E., Gal, G., Kirillin, G., Shatwell, T., Ladwig, R., Moore, T., Couture, R.-M., Côté, M., and Råman Vinnå, L.: Multi-model projections of evaporation in a sub-tropical lake, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10186,, 2021.


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