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Evaluation of the global water cycle's response to current and future drivers of climate change

By Tanya Warnaars

Abstract

Understanding the water cycle and how it will be modified by climate change is a real challenge. With increasing temperatures the hydrological cycle is expected to intensify and extreme event will become more widespread. Some expected outcomes are more intense rainfall events, which can lead to increased floods and increased erosion; as well as a more intermittent pattern of rainfall leading to droughts. These effects are anticipated to occur on a global scale and an integrated approach is needed to study them. Uniting the different research communities active in the area of climate and water is fundamental to improving our understanding of the current situation. Improving our modelling capabilities as well as the necessary driving data is needed to enhance our understanding of the processes involved in a changing water cycle. One mechanism is through the intercomparison of the current models used to describe the components of the water cycle. Another is to compare models with observations at the regional basin scale level. Our ability to develop a global evaluation of the changing water cycle and examine it at a regional level makes it “simpler” to interpret model predictions. A better quantification of current water cycle is needed to assess the vulnerability of global and European water resources

Topics: Hydrology
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:13045

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