Drought: Precipitation, Evapotranspiration, and Soil Moisture

Authored by: Joshua B. Fisher , Konstantinos M. Andreadis

Atmosphere and Climate

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138339675
eBook ISBN: 9780429440984
Adobe ISBN:


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Drought is the major hydrological disaster for human society and encompasses multiple hydrological components. There are numerous definitions of drought, many of which do not include transpiration or evaporation (evapotranspiration, ET). We describe here the role of ET in drought, and why ET is important to consider when assessing drought. We emphasize the dynamic roles of ET, precipitation, and soil moisture, with a focus on the vegetation response during water stress. Finally, we conclude with a case study example of drought in Amazonia.

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