Ensemble modeling of global lake evaporation under climate change

Sofia La Fuente*, Eleanor Jennings, John D. Lenters, Piet Verburg, Zeli Tan, Marjorie Perroud, Annette B.G. Janssen, Iestyn Woolway

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Global projections of lake evaporation are typically based on simulations using single mechanistic models. However, because of its complex interactions with various lake physical properties, environmental and anthropogenic drivers, lake evaporation is highly variable and sensitive to the choice of model used. In this study, we present a multi-model analysis to investigate differences across global simulations of lake evaporation during the warm-season using three different lake models driven by outputs from four general circulation models (GCM) (i.e. 12 model combinations in total) for historic and future scenarios. Our results suggest substantial differences among lake-climate model simulations of lake evaporation. These differences varied throughout the 20th and 21st century, with model driver data explaining 74% of the variance in future projections of warm-season lake evaporation. Our projections indicate that, by the end of the 21st century (2070–2099), global annual lake evaporation rates will increase by 10–27% under Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 2.6–8.5. We highlight the importance of using a multi-model approach for the prediction of future global lake evaporation responses to climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130647
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Inland waters
  • Lake modelling
  • Multi-model
  • Uncertainty


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