Impact of the representation of stomatal conductance on model projections of heatwave intensity

Jatin Kala*, Martin G. De Kauwe, Andy J. Pitman, Belinda E. Medlyn, Ying Ping Wang, Ruth Lorenz, Sarah E. Perkins-Kirkpatrick

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    56 Citations (Scopus)
    14 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Stomatal conductance links plant water use and carbon uptake, and is a critical process for the land surface component of climate models. However, stomatal conductance schemes commonly assume that all vegetation with the same photosynthetic pathway use identical plant water use strategies whereas observations indicate otherwise. Here, we implement a new stomatal scheme derived from optimal stomatal theory and constrained by a recent global synthesis of stomatal conductance measurements from 314 species, across 56 field sites. Using this new stomatal scheme, within a global climate model, subtantially increases the intensity of future heatwaves across Northern Eurasia. This indicates that our climate model has previously been under-predicting heatwave intensity. Our results have widespread implications for other climate models, many of which do not account for differences in stomatal water-use across different plant functional types, and hence, are also likely under projecting heatwave intensity in the future.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number23418
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalScientific Reports
    Volume6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2016

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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