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Amazonian terrestrial water balance inferred from satellite-observed water vapor isotopes

Abstract : Atmospheric humidity and soil moisture in the Amazon forest are tightly coupled to the region's water balance, or the difference between two moisture fluxes, evapotranspiration minus precipitation (ET-P). However, large and poorly characterized uncertainties in both fluxes, and in their difference, make it challenging to evaluate spatiotemporal variations of water balance and its dependence on ET or P. Here, we show that satellite observations of the HDO/H2O ratio of water vapor are sensitive to spatiotemporal variations of ET-P over the Amazon. When calibrated by basin-scale and mass-balance estimates of ET-P derived from terrestrial water storage and river discharge measurements, the isotopic data demonstrate that rainfall controls wet Amazon water balance variability, but ET becomes important in regulating water balance and its variability in the dry Amazon. Changes in the drivers of ET, such as above ground biomass, could therefore have a larger impact on soil moisture and humidity in the dry (southern and eastern) Amazon relative to the wet Amazon.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03726897
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Submitted on : Friday, July 22, 2022 - 8:15:19 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 5, 2022 - 11:34:15 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, October 23, 2022 - 6:10:20 PM

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Mingjie Shi, John R. Worden, Adriana Bailey, David Noone, Camille Risi, et al.. Amazonian terrestrial water balance inferred from satellite-observed water vapor isotopes. Nature Communications, 2022, 13, ⟨10.1038/s41467-022-30317-4⟩. ⟨insu-03726897⟩

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