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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Modeling the Effects of Anthropogenic Land Cover Changes to the Main Hydrometeorological Factors in a Regional Watershed, Central Greece

1
Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, 19013 Anavissos, Greece
2
Department of Geography, Harokopio University of Athens, 17671 Kallithea, Greece
3
Department of Meteorology and Climatology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2019, 7(11), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7110129
Received: 24 September 2019 / Revised: 4 November 2019 / Accepted: 6 November 2019 / Published: 7 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate and Atmospheric Dynamics and Predictability)
In this study, the physically-based hydrological model MIKE SHE was employed to investigate the effects of anthropogenic land cover changes to the hydrological cycle components of a regional watershed in Central Greece. Three case studies based on the land cover of the years 1960, 1990, and 2018 were examined. Copernicus Climate Change Service E-OBS gridded meteorological data for 45 hydrological years were used as forcing for the model. Evaluation against observational data yielded sufficient quality for daily air temperature and precipitation. Simulation results demonstrated that the climatic variabilities primarily in precipitation and secondarily in air temperature affected basin-averaged annual actual evapotranspiration and average annual river discharge. Nevertheless, land cover effects can locally outflank the impact of climatic variability as indicated by the low interannual variabilities of differences in annual actual evapotranspiration among case studies. The transition from forest to pastures or agricultural land reduced annual actual evapotranspiration and increased average annual river discharge while intensifying the vulnerability to hydrometeorological-related hazards such as droughts or floods. Hence, the quantitative assessment of land cover effects presented in this study can contribute to the design and implementation of successful land cover and climate change mitigation and adaptation policies. View Full-Text
Keywords: anthropogenic land cover changes; hydrological model MIKE-SHE; time-series statistical analysis; trend analysis; Spercheios river basin anthropogenic land cover changes; hydrological model MIKE-SHE; time-series statistical analysis; trend analysis; Spercheios river basin
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Mentzafou, A.; Varlas, G.; Dimitriou, E.; Papadopoulos, A.; Pytharoulis, I.; Katsafados, P. Modeling the Effects of Anthropogenic Land Cover Changes to the Main Hydrometeorological Factors in a Regional Watershed, Central Greece. Climate 2019, 7, 129.

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