Recent rebound in observational large-pan evaporation driven by heat wave and droughts by the Lower Yellow River

Zhigang Sun, Zhu Ouyang, Junfang Zhao, Shiji Li, Xubo Zhang, Wei Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Pan evaporation, as a straightforward proxy of potential evapotranspiration, has consistently decreased during the last several decades in many regions across the globe mainly because of global dimming and/or decreases in wind speed. Based on a robust measurement dataset of 30-year large-pan evaporation, however, we found that recent increasing extreme climate events have reversed the decreasing trend in pan evaporation by the Lower Yellow River, with a significant increase of up to 25.2 mm/yr during 2008–2014. Further analyses show that the decrease in large-pan evaporation during 1985–2008 (−5.1 mm/yr) was mainly caused by the decreased vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and sunshine hours. While the sharp increase in large-pan evaporation after 2008 was mainly caused by more frequent heat wave and drought events in spring and summer, which resulted in concurrent increases in air temperature, VPD, and sunshine hours. Our finding of evaporation rebound due to heat wave and droughts calls for improved strategies of water and crop managements for mitigating the negative effects of increasing extreme climate events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Hydrology
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA19040303), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC0503805), National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 31570472 ), and the 100 Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Authors appreciate Mr. Zhenmin Liu and Mr. Yanchun Yu for their contributions on data collection and preprocessing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier B.V.


  • Climatic variables
  • Drought
  • Extreme Climatic events
  • Heat wave
  • Large pan evaporation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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