9.4 Trends in Regional Evapotranspiration and Food Production Systems in New Mexico

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 9:15 AM
253C (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Hatim M. E. Geli, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM; and C. Hain and M. C. Anderson

One of the expected major climate change impacts is the increased levels of evapotranspiration (ET) due to rising temperatures. ET as a hydrological variable plays a significant role in understanding the response of natural ecosystems to these impacts in terms of water availability and vegetation productivity. New Mexico’s natural vegetation including shrub and grasslands supports one of its major food production systems as well as its economy. ET can be used as a means to assess the behavior of these food production systems. Spatial and temporal variability of ET can provide an improved understanding of water availability and vegetation growth conditions. The goal of the study was to assess the behavior of food production systems and the corresponding effects on food-energy-water systems in NM. This analysis compared ET with precipitation and some vegetation growth indicators. Remote sensing-based estimates of ET from Atmosphere Land Exchange Inverse (ALEXI) model at daily and 4-km scales for 2001-2018 period were used. Gridded precipitation data based on PRISM along with vegetation growth and productivity indicators based on MODIS NDVI, LST, and Net Primary Productivity (NPP) were used. The study highlighted how remotely sensed ET data can be used to effectively describe the behavior of natural vegetation cover due to these impacts and as an indicator to assess FEW systems sustainability.
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