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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2016, Article ID 9586896, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/9586896
Research Article

Spatiotemporal Changes of Reference Evapotranspiration in Mongolia during 1980–2006

1Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received 1 July 2016; Revised 20 October 2016; Accepted 23 October 2016

Academic Editor: Julio Diaz

Copyright © 2016 Wenjun Yu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Reference evapotranspiration (RET) plays an important role in the terrestrial hydrological cycle. Applying the Penman-Monteith method, the RET over Mongolia was estimated from 1980 to 2006. The changing trends and magnitude of RET were detected by the Mann-Kendall test and Theil-Sen’s slope methods. Meanwhile, aridity indices were estimated using two different indices. The impacts of meteorological variables on RET were assessed through sensitive analysis by comparing the resulting RETs from artificially disturbed meteorological variables. The results indicated that the RET for 16 stations in Mongolia showed an increasing trend, particularly in the center and south. The calculated RET was higher than precipitation, which means severe droughts in Mongolia. The spatial patterns of RET are significantly influenced by climatic conditions as well as characteristics of the underlying surface (e.g., elevation and vegetation). The mean annual RET decreased from the south to the north, owing to sparse vegetation in the south of Mongolia. The sensitivity analysis revealed that the changes of RET were strongly affected by air temperature and relative humidity.