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Hydrological responses to climate change conditioned by historic alterations of land use and water use
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
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2012 (English)In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, ISSN 1027-5606, E-ISSN 1607-7938, Vol. 16, no 5, 1335-1347 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper quantifies and conditions expected hydrological responses in the Aral Sea Drainage Basin (ASDB; occupying 1.3% of the earth's land surface), Central Asia, to multi-model projections of climate change in the region from 20 general circulation models (GCMs). The aim is to investigate how uncertainties of future climate change interact with the effects of historic human re-distributions of water for land irrigation to influence future water fluxes and water resources. So far, historic irrigation changes have greatly amplified water losses by evapotranspiration (ET) in the ASDB, whereas 20th century climate change has not much affected the regional net water loss to the atmosphere. Results show that errors in temperature (T) and precipitation (P) from single GCMs have large influence on projected change trends (for the period 2010-2039) of river runoff (R), even though the ASDB is spatially well resolved by current GCMs. By contrast, observed biases in GCM ensemble mean results have relatively small influence on projected R change trends. Ensemble mean results show that projected future climate change will considerably increase the net water loss to the atmosphere. Furthermore, the ET response strength to any future T change will be further increased by maintained (or increased) irrigation practices, which shows how climate change and water use change can interact in modifying ET (and R). With maintained irrigation practices, R is likely to decrease to near-total depletion, with risk for cascading ecological regime shifts in aquatic ecosystems downstream of irrigated land areas. Without irrigation, the agricultural areas of the principal Syr Darya river basin could sustain a 50% higher T increase (of 2.3 A degrees C instead of the projected 1.5 A degrees C until 2010-2039) before yielding the same consumptive ET increase and associated R decrease as with the present irrigation practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 16, no 5, 1335-1347 p.
National Category
Climate Research Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79719DOI: 10.5194/hess-16-1335-2012ISI: 000304049700006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79719DiVA: diva2:551992
Note

AuthorCount:5;

Available from: 2012-09-12 Created: 2012-09-11 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Hydro-climatic changes in irrigated world regions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hydro-climatic changes in irrigated world regions
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Understanding of hydro-climatic changes in the world’s river basins is required to ensure future food security. Different regional basins experience different levels of hydro-climatic change depending on the endorheic or exorheic nature of a hydrological basin, along with the climatic conditions and human land and water-use practices, for instance for irrigation. This thesis has analyzed long-term hydro-climatic changes in two main irrigated regions of the world: the Mahanadi River Basin in India and the Aral region in Central Asia. Thesis applies a basin-wise, data-driven water balance-constrained approach to quantifying the hydro-climatic changes, and to distinguish their main drivers in the past century and for future. Results point at human water-use and re-distribution for irrigation within a basin as a major driver of water balance changes, which also affect surface temperature in the region.

Cross-regional comparison focused on the climatically important changes of water, vapor and latent heat fluxes at the land surface, and also on the changes to water resource availability in the landscape. Results show that irrigation- driven changes in evapotranspiration, latent heat fluxes and associated temperature changes at land surface may be greater in regions with small relative irrigation impacts on water availability in the landscape than in regions with severe such impacts. This implies that one cannot from the knowledge about only one aspect of hydro-climatic change simply extrapolate the impact importance of those changes for other types of water changes in a region.

Climate model projections results show lack of consistency in individual GCM performance with regard to temperature and to precipitation, implying difficulties to identify well-performing GCMs with regard to both of these variables in a region. In Aral region, the thesis shows that ensemble mean of different GCM outputs may provide robust projection of future hydro-climate changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, 2013. 30 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 36
Keyword
Climate change, hydro-climatic change, evapotranspiration, irrigation, water demand, water balance, land-use, water-use, hydrological catchment, Aral Sea, India, Mahanadi River Basin
National Category
Climate Research Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-87921 (URN)978-91-7447-641-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-04-03, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
FormasLinnaeus research environment CADICSModelling initiative of the Bert Bolin Centre for Climate ChangeSida - Swedish International Development Cooperation AgencySwedish Research Council, 2006-4366
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Accepted. Paper 6: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-03-12 Created: 2013-02-25 Last updated: 2013-02-27Bibliographically approved

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