Document Type


Publication Date



Although comprehensive evaluation of different types of global terrestrial evapotranspiration (ET) products has been conducted, the satellite remote sensing techniques have prompted the development of several available global ET products, warranting a reassessment as products continue to evolve. Recently, we produced the long-term Global LAnd Surface Satellite (GLASS) ET product, but there is a lack of comparison and evaluation with other ET products and EC observations on a global scale. In this study, we evaluated the accuracy and uncertainty of seven satellite-based (GLASS-AVHRR, GLASS-MODIS, BESS, FLUXCOM, GLEAM, MOD16, and PML_V2) and two reanalysis (ERA5 and MERRA2) global terrestrial ET products at multiple scales for selecting the most suitable ET products and developing large-scale ET models. At the point scale, their accuracy was evaluated through direct comparison with in situ observations from 230 global flux towers. The results indicate that no single ET product can provide the most accurate ET estimates for all land cover types, although GLASS-MODIS [coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.51, Kling–Gupta efficiency (KGE) of 0.68] and FLUXCOM [R2 of 0.51, KGE of 0.66] outperform the seven other products [0.54 =< KGE =< 0.66, 0.35 =< R2 =< 0.50] at all sites. At the basin scale, the accuracy of ET products was assessed through 36 large river basins. The R2 values between all ET products and the water balance-derived ET (WBET) are >0.88, while the accuracies of the nine ET products differ in some sense. The three-cornered hat (TCH) method and comparison analysis are applied to assess the uncertainty of nine ET products at the pixel level. The TCH outputs reveal that GLASS-AVHRR and GLASS-MODIS are the two products with the lowest relative uncertainty, while MERRA2 has the largest relative uncertainty. Our results imply that there is no single ET product performing best in all respects. The selection of ET products for scientific research should consider their performance differences in spatial scale as well as the influence of land cover and climate conditions.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Hydrology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Hydrology, volume 630, in 2024.

The Creative Commons license below applies only to this version of the article.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Sunday, January 18, 2026