Climatic Change

, Volume 113, Issue 3–4, pp 639–661 | Cite as

Projecting and hindcasting potential evaporation for the UK between 1950 and 2099

  • K. P. Chun
  • H. S. Wheater
  • C. Onof


Evaporation estimation is important for the assessment of a wide range of potential impacts of climate change, yet there are significant questions concerning the relevance of alternative methods for climate change studies, and the uncertainty associated with downscaled driving variables. Using principal components analysis, climate variables related to evaporation have been examined; results show significant differences in correlation structures between observed UK data and climate outputs from a Hadley Centre Global Climate Model (HadCM3). Although employing the GCM data directly in the Penman-Monteith combination equation appears to be practical for estimating current potential evaporation, this approach does not project realistic potential evaporation in the 2080s. A local calibration approach is taken to the derivation of an alternative empirical model for estimating potential evaporation based on GCM outputs, using the Generalised Linear Model (GLM) framework. This appears to provide a robust method for impacts assessment. From the GLM projections, the envisaged change in evaporation will be spatially variable across the UK. It is expected that the southern part of the UK will be more sensitive to the change in evaporation than the north. Moreover, in the 2080s, the range (variance) of the monthly potential evaporation appears to change more than the mean.


Wind Speed Generalise Linear Model Statistical Downscaling Potential Evaporation Actual Evaporation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supplementary material

10584_2011_375_MOESM1_ESM.docx (71 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 70.5 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringImperial College London, South Kensington CampusLondonUK
  2. 2.Global Institute for Water SecurityUniversity of Saskatchewan, NHRCSaskatoonCanada

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