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Earth System Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Earth Syst. Dynam., 8, 113-127, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-8-113-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
21 Feb 2017
Seasonal effects of irrigation on land–atmosphere latent heat, sensible heat, and carbon fluxes in semiarid basin
Yujin Zeng1,2, Zhenghui Xie1, and Shuang Liu1,2 1State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2College of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Abstract. Irrigation, which constitutes ∼ 70 % of the total amount of freshwater consumed by the human population, is significantly impacting land–atmosphere fluxes. In this study, using the improved Community Land Model version 4.5 (CLM4.5) with an active crop model, two high-resolution (∼ 1 km) simulations investigating the effects of irrigation on latent heat (LH), sensible heat (SH), and carbon fluxes (or net ecosystem exchange, NEE) from land to atmosphere in the Heihe River basin in northwestern China were conducted using a high-quality irrigation dataset compiled from 1981 to 2013. The model output and measurements from remote sensing demonstrated the capacity of the developed models to reproduce ecological and hydrological processes. The results revealed that the effects of irrigation on LH and SH are strongest during summer, with a LH increase of ∼ 100 W m−2 and a SH decrease of  ∼ 60 W m−2 over intensely irrigated areas. However, the reactions are much weaker during spring and autumn when there is much less irrigation. When the irrigation rate is below 5 mm day−1, the LH generally increases, whereas the SH decreases with growing irrigation rates. However, when the irrigation threshold is in excess of 5 mm day−1, there is no accrued effect of irrigation on the LH and SH. Irrigation produces opposite effects to the NEE during spring and summer. During the spring, irrigation yields more discharged carbon from the land to the atmosphere, increasing the NEE value by 0.4–0.8 gC m−2 day−1, while the summer irrigation favors crop fixing of carbon from atmospheric CO2, decreasing the NEE value by ∼ 0.8 gC m−2 day−1. The repercussions of irrigation on land–atmosphere fluxes are not solely linked to the irrigation amount, and other parameters (especially the temperature) also control the effects of irrigation on LH, SH, and NEE.

Citation: Zeng, Y., Xie, Z., and Liu, S.: Seasonal effects of irrigation on land–atmosphere latent heat, sensible heat, and carbon fluxes in semiarid basin, Earth Syst. Dynam., 8, 113-127, https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-8-113-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
Irrigation constitutes 70 % of human water consumption. In this study, using the improved CLM4.5 with an active crop model, two 1 km simulations investigating the effects of irrigation on latent heat, sensible heat, and carbon fluxes in the Heihe River basin in northwestern China were conducted using a high-quality irrigation dataset compiled from 1981 to 2013. The results revealed the key role of irrigation in the control of land–atmosphere water, energy, and carbon fluxes in semiarid basin.
Irrigation constitutes 70 % of human water consumption. In this study, using the improved CLM4.5...
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