Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 129, Issue 1–2, pp 159–170 | Cite as

Trends in evaporation of a large subtropical lake

  • Cheng Hu
  • Yongwei Wang
  • Wei Wang
  • Shoudong Liu
  • Meihua Piao
  • Wei Xiao
  • Xuhui Lee
Original Paper


How rising temperature and changing solar radiation affect evaporation of natural water bodies remains poor understood. In this study, evaporation from Lake Taihu, a large (area 2400 km2) freshwater lake in the Yangtze River Delta, China, was simulated by the CLM4-LISSS offline lake model and estimated with pan evaporation data. Both methods were calibrated against lake evaporation measured directly with eddy covariance in 2012. Results show a significant increasing trend of annual lake evaporation from 1979 to 2013, at a rate of 29.6 mm decade−1 according to the lake model and 25.4 mm decade−1 according to the pan method. The mean annual evaporation during this period shows good agreement between these two methods (977 mm according to the model and 1007 mm according to the pan method). A stepwise linear regression reveals that downward shortwave radiation was the most significant contributor to the modeled evaporation trend, while air temperature was the most significant contributor to the pan evaporation trend. Wind speed had little impact on the modeled lake evaporation but had a negative contribution to the pan evaporation trend offsetting some of the temperature effect. Reference evaporation was not a good proxy for the lake evaporation because it was on average 20.6 % too high and its increasing trend was too large (56.5 mm decade−1).


Wind Speed Eddy Covariance Annual Evaporation Downward Shortwave Radiation Downward Longwave Radiation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 41275024, 41505005 and 41475141), the Startup Foundation for Introducing Talent of Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (Grant no. 2014r046), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, China (Grant BK20150900), the Ministry of Education of China under Grant PCSIRT, and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheng Hu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yongwei Wang
    • 1
  • Wei Wang
    • 1
  • Shoudong Liu
    • 1
  • Meihua Piao
    • 1
    • 3
  • Wei Xiao
    • 1
  • Xuhui Lee
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Yale-NUIST Center on Atmospheric EnvironmentNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment TechnologyNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina
  3. 3.Jilin Meteorological Service CenterJilinChina
  4. 4.School of Forestry and Environmental StudiesYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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