EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

How is the atmospheric residence time of evapotranspired water altered with a dried-up lake or a forest restoration scenario and what is the impact on precipiation?

Jianhui Wei1, Joël Arnault1, Zhenyu Zhang1,2, Patrick Laux1,2, Benjamin Fersch1, Sven Wagner3, Ningpeng Dong4, Qianya Yang1,5,6, Chuanguo Yang5,6, Zhongbo Yu5,6, and Harald Kunstmann1,2
Jianhui Wei et al.
  • 1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (IMK-IFU), Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 2Institute of Geography, University of Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany
  • 3Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, Stuttgart, Germany
  • 4Department of Water Resources, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing, China
  • 5College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing, China
  • 6State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing, China

Land surface characteristics and processes may have complex interactions with the physical and dynamical processes of the atmosphere. However, adequate methods for systemically understanding individual processes of the nonlinearly coupled land-atmosphere continuum are still rare. Therefore, in this study, the age-weighted evaporation tagging approach of Wei et al. (2016) and the three-dimensional online atmospheric water budget analysis of Arnault et al. (2016) were implemented into the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model. In addition to the total and tagged atmospheric water states of matter, the latter approach was further extended for age-weighted tagged atmospheric water states of matter, thereby providing a prognostic equation of the residence time of state variables in the atmospheric water cycle. This extension allows to systematically quantify the fate of evaporated and transpired water in terms of magnitude, location, composition, and residence time. The extended WRF model was tested for a land use and land cover change study for the Poyang Lake basin, the largest freshwater lake in China. Two hypothetical scenarios, i.e., a dried-up lake and a forest restoration scenario, were simulated and then compared to a real-case control simulation using the original land-use data. The results of the basin-scale precipitation recycling in the context of evapotranspiration partitioning and the modified atmospheric water cycle due to both scenarios will be presented and discussed. We conclude that our newly developed modelling framework and the proposed analysis strategy have the potential to be applied for better understanding and quantifying the nonlinearly intertwined processes between the land and the atmosphere.


Arnault, J., Knoche, R., Wei, J., & Kunstmann, H. (2016). Evaporation tagging and atmospheric water budget analysis with WRF: A regional precipitation recycling study for West Africa. Water Resources Research, 52(3), 1544–1567.

Wei, J., Knoche, R., & Kunstmann, H. (2016). Atmospheric residence times from transpiration and evaporation to precipitation: An age-weighted regional evaporation tagging approach. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(12), 6841–6862.

How to cite: Wei, J., Arnault, J., Zhang, Z., Laux, P., Fersch, B., Wagner, S., Dong, N., Yang, Q., Yang, C., Yu, Z., and Kunstmann, H.: How is the atmospheric residence time of evapotranspired water altered with a dried-up lake or a forest restoration scenario and what is the impact on precipiation?, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-7368,, 2021.


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