Reference evapotranspiration estimated from air temperature using the MARS regression technique


  • Lucas Borges Ferreira Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Anunciene Barbosa Duarte Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Edcássio Dias Araújo Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Thallita de Sousa Ferreira Universidade Federal de Viçosa
  • Fernando França da Cunha Universidade Federal de Viçosa



Soft computing, Irrigation scheduling, Agrometeorology, MARS


The reference evapotranspiration (ETo) is an important component for determining the water requirements of the crops. In order to estimate this variable accurately, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) proposed the Penman-Monteith equation, however, this demands a large number of meteorological data, which restricts its use. In this context, this study compares the performance of the Penman-Monteith equation using only measured air temperature (PMT) and the Hargreaves-Samani (HS) equation with the performance of the multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS) technique for the daily ETo estimation with only air temperature data. For the study, daily meteorological data from 2002 to 2016 were used. The data were collected from weather stations located in Florianópolis-SC, Manaus-AM and Petrolina-PE, being these selected in order to capture different climatic conditions. MARS models were developed for each weather station and the PMT e HS equations were locally calibrated. The performances of the original and calibrated equations and MARS models were evaluated based on the statistical indices root mean square error, mean absolute error, mean bias error and coefficient of determination. The ETo estimated by the Penman-Monteith method with full data was used as reference for the development of the MARS models, calibration of the equations and for the performance evaluation of the models under study. The calibration of the HS and PMT equations promoted better performances in relation to the original equations, improving the methods accuracy. The MARS technique presented good performance, outperforming the original and calibrated PMT and HS equations, with lower error values and higher coefficient of determination, and can be considered as an alternative to empirical methods.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Lucas Borges Ferreira, Universidade Federal de Viçosa

Departamento de Engenharia Agrícola




How to Cite

FERREIRA, L.B., DUARTE, A.B., ARAÚJO, E.D., FERREIRA, T. de S. and DA CUNHA, F.F., 2018. Reference evapotranspiration estimated from air temperature using the MARS regression technique . Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 674–682. [Accessed4 December 2022]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v34n3a2018-39409. Available from:



Agricultural Sciences