Insights Into the Aerodynamic Versus Radiometric Surface Temperature Debate in Thermal-Based Evaporation Modeling

Mallick, Kaniska, Baldocchi, Dennis, Jarvis, Andrew, Hu, Tian, Trebs, Ivonne, Sulis, Mauro, Bhattarai, Nishan, Bossung, Christian, Eid, Yomna, Cleverly, Jamie, Beringer, Jason, Woodgate, William, Silberstein, Richard, Hinko-Najera, Nina, Meyer, Wayne S., Ghent, Darren, Szantoi, Zoltan, Boulet, Gilles, and Kustas, William P. (2022) Insights Into the Aerodynamic Versus Radiometric Surface Temperature Debate in Thermal-Based Evaporation Modeling. Geophysical Research Letters, 49 (15). e2021GL097568.

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Global evaporation monitoring from Earth observation thermal infrared satellite missions is historically challenged due to the unavailability of any direct measurements of aerodynamic temperature. State-of-the-art one-source evaporation models use remotely sensed radiometric surface temperature as a substitute for the aerodynamic temperature and apply empirical corrections to accommodate for their inequality. This introduces substantial uncertainty in operational drought mapping over complex landscapes. By employing a non-parametric model, we show that evaporation can be directly retrieved from thermal satellite data without the need of any empirical correction. Independent evaluation of evaporation in a broad spectrum of biome and aridity yielded statistically significant results when compared with eddy covariance observations. While our simplified model provides a new perspective to advance spatio-temporal evaporation mapping from any thermal remote sensing mission, the direct retrieval of aerodynamic temperature also generates the highly required insight on the critical role of biophysical interactions in global evaporation research.

Item ID: 75824
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1944-8007
Keywords: evaporation, aerodynamic temperature, thermal remote sensing, water stress, canopy conductance, VPD
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC DE190101182
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2022 08:56
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310303 Ecological physiology @ 50%
37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3706 Geophysics > 370601 Applied geophysics @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180699 Terrestrial systems and management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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