Constrained tropical land temperature-precipitation sensitivity reveals decreasing evapotranspiration and faster vegetation greening in CMIP6 3 projections

Zhu Boyuan, Yongzhou Cheng, Xuyue Hu, Yuanfang Chai, Wouter R. Berghuijs, Alistair Borthwick, Louise Slater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Over the tropical land surface, accurate estimates of future changes in temperature, precipitation and evapotranspiration are crucial for ecological sustainability, but remain highly uncertain. Here we develop a series of emergent constraints (ECs) by using historical and future outputs from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) Earth System Models under the four basic Shared Socio-economic Pathway scenarios (SSP126, SSP245, SSP370, and SSP585). Results show that the temperature sensitivity to precipitation during 2015–2100, which varies substantially in the original CMIP6 outputs, becomes systematically negative across SSPs after application of the EC, with absolute values between −1.10 °C mm −1 day and −3.52 °C mm −1 day, and with uncertainties reduced by 9.4% to 41.4%. The trend in tropical land-surface evapotranspiration, which was increasing by 0.292 mm yr −1 in the original CMIP6 model outputs, becomes significantly negative (−0.469 mm yr −1) after applying the constraint. Moreover, we find a significant increase of 58.7% in the leaf area index growth rate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number91
Journalnpj Climate and Atmospheric Science
Volume6
Issue number1
Early online date14 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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