Geophysical Research Letters
School of Science
Australian Research Council / FNR. Grant Numbers: INTER/PRIMA/19/13566440/SMARTIES, C19/SR/13652816 / National Collaborative Infrastructure Strategy / Mobility Fellowship from the FNR Luxembourg / NASA / US Department of Energy
ARC Number : DE190101182
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.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License