Evaporative water loss of 1.42 million global lakes.
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The evaporative loss from global lakes (natural and artificial) is a critical component of the terrestrial water and energy balance. However, the evaporation volume of these water bodies-from the spatial distribution to the long-term trend-is as of yet unknown. Here, using satellite observations and modeling tools, we quantified the evaporation volume from 1.42 million global lakes from 1985 to 2018. We find that the long-term average lake evaporation is 1500150km3 year-1 and it has increased at a rate of 3.12km3 year-1. The trend attributions include an increasing evaporation rate (58%), decreasing lake ice coverage (23%), and increasing lake surface area (19%). While only accounting for 5% of the global lake storage capacity, artificial lakes (i.e., reservoirs) contribute 16% to the evaporation volume. Our results underline the importance of using evaporation volume, rather than evaporation rate, as the primary index for assessing climatic impacts on lake systems.
author list (cited authors)
Zhao, G., Li, Y., Zhou, L., & Gao, H.
complete list of authors
Zhao, Gang||Li, Yao||Zhou, Liming||Gao, Huilin