Actual evapotranspiration (Ea) plays a key role in the global water and energy cycles. The accurate quantification of the impacts of different factors on Ea change can help us better understand the driving mechanisms of Ea in a changing environment. Climate change and vegetation variations are well known as two main factors that have significant impacts on Ea change. Our study used three differential Budyko-type equations to quantify the contributions of climate change and vegetation variations to Ea change. First, in order to establish the relationship between the parameter n, which usually presents the land surface characteristics in the Budyko-type equations, with basic climatic variables and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the stepwise linear regression method has been used. Then, elasticity and contribution analyses were performed to quantify the contributions of different numbers of climatic factors and NDVI to Ea change. The North and South Panjiang basin in China was selected to investigate the efficiency of the modified Budyko-type equations and quantify the impacts of climate change and vegetation variations on Ea change. The empirical formal of the parameter n established in this study can be used to simulate the parameter n and Ea for the study area. The results of the elasticity and contribution analyses suggest that climate change contributed (whose average contribution is 149.6%) more to Ea change than vegetation variation (whose average contribution is −49.4%). Precipitation, NDVI and the maximum temperature are the major drivers of Ea change, while the minimum temperature and wind speed contribute the least to Ea change.
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