Future projections of evapotranspiration (ET) are of critical importance for agricultural and freshwater management and for predicting land–atmosphere feedbacks on the climate system. However, ET from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) simulations exhibits substantial biases, bolstering little confidence in future ET projections. Despite poor predictive skill and large bias of ET… More

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Evapotranspiration (ET) is a key component of the atmospheric and terrestrial water and energy budgets. Satellite‐based vegetation index approaches have used remotely sensed vegetation and reanalysis meteorological properties with surface energy balance models to estimate global ET (MOD16 ET). We reconstructed satellite retrievals using in situ meteorology (Argonne‐ET) and evaluated them using a dense network… More

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Releases of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) from thawing permafrost are expected to be among the largest feedbacks to climate from arctic ecosystems. However, the current net carbon (C) balance of terrestrial arctic ecosystems is unknown. Recent studies suggest that these ecosystems are sources, sinks, or approximately in balance at present…. More

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Aerodynamic canopy height (ha) is the effective height of vegetation canopy for its influence on atmospheric fluxes and is a key parameter of surface‐atmosphere coupling. However, methods to estimate ha from data are limited. This synthesis evaluates the applicability and robustness of the calculation of ha from eddy covariance momentum‐flux data. At 69 forest sites,… More

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In nearly all large-scale terrestrial ecosystem models, soil respiration is represented as a function of soil temperature. However, the relationship between soil respiration and soil temperature is highly variable across sites and there is often a pronounced hysteresis in the soil respiration-temperature relationship over the course of the growing season. This phenomenon indicates the importance… More

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Ecosystem models often perform poorly in reproducing interannual variability in carbon and water fluxes, resulting in considerable uncertainty when estimating the land-carbon sink. While many aggregated variables (growing season length, seasonal precipitation, or temperature) have been suggested as predictors for interannual variability in carbon fluxes, their explanatory power is limited and uncertainties remain as to… More

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The global terrestrial carbon sink offsets one-third of the world’s fossil fuel emissions, but the strength of this sink is highly sensitive to large-scale extreme events. In 2012, the contiguous United States experienced exceptionally warm temperatures and the most severe drought since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, resulting in substantial economic damage. It… More

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