Constrained tropical land temperature-precipitation sensitivity reveals decreasing evapotranspiration and faster vegetation greening in CMIP6 projections
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Over the tropical land surface, accurate estimates of future changes in temperature, precipitation and evapotranspiration are crucial for ecological sustainability, but remain highly uncertain. Here we develop a series of emergent constraints (ECs) by using historical and future outputs from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) Earth System Models under the four basic Shared Socio-economic Pathway scenarios (SSP126, SSP245, SSP370, and SSP585). Results show that the temperature sensitivity to precipitation during 2015–2100, which varies substantially in the original CMIP6 outputs, becomes systematically negative across SSPs after application of the EC, with absolute values between −1.10 °C mm−1 day and −3.52 °C mm−1 day, and with uncertainties reduced by 9.4% to 41.4%. The trend in tropical land-surface evapotranspiration, which was increasing by 0.292 mm yr−1 in the original CMIP6 model outputs, becomes significantly negative (−0.469 mm yr−1) after applying the constraint. Moreover, we find a significant increase of 58.7% in the leaf area index growth rate.
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