Sensitivity of the Penman–Monteith reference evapotranspiration to key climatic variables in the Changjiang (Yangtze River) basin
2006 (English)In: Journal of Hydrology, ISSN 0022-1694, E-ISSN 1879-2707, Vol. 329, no 3-4, 620-629 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Sensitivity analysis is important in understanding the relative importance of climatic variables to the variation of reference evapotranspiration (ETref). In this study, a non-dimensional relative sensitivity coefficient was employed to predict responses of ETref to perturbations of four climatic variables in the Changjiang (Yangtze River) basin. ETref was estimated with the FAO-56 Penman–Monteith equation. A 41-year historical dataset of daily air temperature, wind speed, relative humidity and daily sunshine duration at 150 national meteorological observatory stations was used in the analysis. Results show that the response of ETref can be precisely predicted under perturbation of relative humidity or shortwave radiation by their sensitivity coefficients; the predictive power under perturbations of air temperature and wind speed depended on the magnitude of the perturbation, season and region. The prediction errors were much smaller than the seasonal and regional variation of their sensitivity coefficients. The sensitivity coefficient could also be used to predict the response of ETref to co-perturbation of several variables. The accuracy of the prediction increases from the lower to the upper region. Spatial variations of long-term average monthly and yearly sensitivity coefficients were obtained by interpolation of station estimates. In general, relative humidity was the most sensitive variable, followed by shortwave radiation, air temperature and wind speed. The actual rank of the four climatic variables in terms of their sensitivity varied with season and region. The large spatial variability of the sensitivity coefficients of all the climatic variables in the middle and lower regions of the basin was to a large extent determined by the distinct wind-speed patterns in those two regions.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 329, no 3-4, 620-629 p.
Penman–Monteith reference evapotranspiration, Sensitivity coefficient, Changjiang basin, China
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-21826DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2006.03.027ISI: 000241295200022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-21826DiVA: diva2:49599