Evaluating changes to Wisconsin evapotranspiration under a future climate

Project description

As the second largest component of Wisconsin’s water budget after precipitation, the changes to evapotranspiration as a result of climate change could be very important to Wisconsin hydrology.  However, very little work has been done quantifying these changes.  Factors such as increasing temperatures, longer growing seasons, changing water availability due to changing precipitation patterns, increasing plant water use efficiency with rising CO2concentration, and many others could have a profound impact on ET across the state.  It is also important to recognize that difference vegetation communities could respond quite differently to changing climate patterns with some transpiring more and others less.


Using records of latent heat flux (or actual ET) from eddy flux covariance towers combined with weather parameters from the same locations, we have created and calibrated an ET model using Matlab software.  We have compiled this code into a simple graphical user interface (GUI) for others to use.  With this tool, we hope water resources managers, city planners, and the agriculture community can better understand how ET may change in their specific region and for a specific vegetation community.  Such changes could impact the amount of surface runoff and groundwater recharge that could be expected in the future, as well as the availability of water for other purposes.


The Wisconsin ET Model can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of the page.


Note:  The model comes in a self-extracting package that does not require Matlab to run.  However, Matlab Compiler Runtime 7.13 is required to use the model.  It installs automatically when extracting the package, which may take a few minutes.


Comments and questions can be directed to: loheide@wisc.edu