EGU21-2603, updated on 03 Mar 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2603
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Evaluating the response of the diurnal range of surface and air temperature to evaporative conditions across vegetation types in ERA5 and FLUXNET data

Annu Panwar and Axel Kleidon
Annu Panwar and Axel Kleidon
  • Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Biosphere Theory and Modelling, Jena, Germany (apanwar@bgc-jena.mpg.de)

The diurnal variations of surface and air temperature are related but their different responses to evaporative conditions can inform us about land-atmosphere interactions, extreme events, and their response to global change. Here, we evaluate the sensitivity of the diurnal ranges of surface (DTsR) and air (DTaR) temperature to evaporative fraction, across short vegetation, savanna, and forests at 106 Fluxnet observational sites and in the ERA5 global reanalysis. We show that the sensitivity of DTsR to evaporative fraction depends on vegetation type, whereas for DTaR it does not. Using FLUXNET data we found that on days with low evaporative fraction, DTsR is enhanced by up to 20 °C (30 °C in ERA5) in short vegetation, whereas only by 8 °C (10 °C in ERA5) in forests. Particularly, in short vegetation, ERA5 shows stronger responses, which is attributable to a negative bias on days with the high evaporative fraction. ERA5 also tends to have lower shortwave and longwave radiation input when compared to FLUXNET data. Contrary to DTsR, DTaR responds rather similarly to evaporative fraction irrespective of vegetation type (8 °C in FLUXNET, 10 °C in ERA5). To explain this, we show that the DTaR response to the evaporative fraction is compensated for differences in atmospheric boundary layer height by up to 2000 m, which is similar across vegetation types. We demonstrate this with a simple boundary layer heat storage calculation, indicating that DTaR is primarily shaped by changes in boundary layer heat storage whereas DTsR mainly responds to solar radiation, evaporation, and vegetation.  Our study reveals some systematic biases in ERA5 that need to be considered when using its temperature products for understanding land-atmosphere interactions or extreme events. To conclude, this study demonstrates the importance of vegetation and the dynamics of the atmospheric boundary layer in regulating diurnal variations in surface and air temperature under different evaporative conditions.

How to cite: Panwar, A. and Kleidon, A.: Evaluating the response of the diurnal range of surface and air temperature to evaporative conditions across vegetation types in ERA5 and FLUXNET data, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2603, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2603, 2021.

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