Impacts of Extreme Weather on Hydrological Process, Water Quality and Ecosystem in Agricultural and Forested Watersheds under the Changing Climate

A special issue of Climate (ISSN 2225-1154). This special issue belongs to the section "Weather, Events and Impacts".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 21499

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
USDA, Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Center for Bottomland Hardwoods Research, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA
Interests: hydrology; local climate; modeling; multivariate statistics; real-time water quality monitoring; water resources
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Guest Editor
USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Center for Forest Watershed Research, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA
Interests: water resource quality and quantity; landuse change; hydrology; forest operations; modeling; soil erosion mechanics and prediction; forest best management practices (BMPs)

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Guest Editor
Institute for Environmental Spatial Analysis, University of North Georgia, Oakwood, GA 30566, USA
Interests: geospatial technology; geospatial model development and automation; water resources engineering & management; soil erosion & conservation; climate change impacted environmental management; precision agriculture & site specific crop/forage/forest management; WebGIS-based decision support system development; artificial intelligence
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue was inspired by the Hydrology-H030 Session of the 2021 AGU (America Geophysical Union) Fall Meeting. Extreme weather such as hurricanes and heavy storms are not frequent but disrupt events such as social activities and natural processes. Recent evidence confirms that the unnatural effects of climate change are making extreme weather more frequent and destructive. Currently, insufficient efforts have been devoted to characterizing the severe impacts of extreme weather on hydrology, water quality, and the ecosystem in agricultural and forested watersheds under the changing climate. Here, we invite papers to tackle these challenges. All aspects of extreme weather-induced issues such as hydrological processes (e.g., stream channel alteration, flood, drought, evapotranspiration, and water yield), water quality constituents (e.g., nutrients, sediment, biomass, and organic carbon), and ecological services (e.g., wetlands and habitats) along with proactive management practices are welcome.

Dr. Ying Ouyang
Dr. Johnny M. Grace
Prof. Dr. Sudhanshu Sekhar Panda
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • climate extreme
  • hurricane and heavy storm
  • hydrology
  • water quality and quantity
  • agricultural watershed
  • ecological management
  • forest watersheds
  • land use dynamics
  • soil subsidence
  • wetlands change

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

35 pages, 11117 KiB  
Article
Uganda’s Hydropower System Resilience to Extreme Climate Variability
by Francis Mujjuni, Thomas Betts and Richard Blanchard
Climate 2023, 11(9), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli11090177 - 26 Aug 2023
Viewed by 2206
Abstract
This study was motivated by the high reliance on hydropower plants (HPPs) developed and planned along the river Nile and the fact that drought events are the most imminent and drastic threats to Uganda’s power production. The study aimed to assess HPPs’ resilience [...] Read more.
This study was motivated by the high reliance on hydropower plants (HPPs) developed and planned along the river Nile and the fact that drought events are the most imminent and drastic threats to Uganda’s power production. The study aimed to assess HPPs’ resilience and the effectiveness of selected adaptation measures. The climate, land, energy, and water system (CLEWs) framework was employed to assess resilience amidst competing water demands and stringent environmental flow requirements. Under extreme dry conditions, power generation could plummet by 91% over the next 40 years, which translates into an annual per capita consumption of 19 kWh, barely sufficient to sustain a decent socioeconomic livelihood. During arid conditions, climate models predicted an increase in streamflow with increasing radiative forcing. Restricting the ecological flow to 150 m3/s could improve generation by 207%. In addition, if planned power plants were to be built 5 years ahead of schedule, the normalized mean annual plant production could increase by 23%. In contrast, increasing reservoir volumes for planned power plants will have no significant impact on generation. The path to HPP resilience could entail a combination of diversifying the generation mix, installing generators with varying capacities, and incorporating adjustable orifices on reservoirs. Full article
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13 pages, 2957 KiB  
Article
Projection of Sediment Loading from Pearl River Basin, Mississippi into Gulf of Mexico under a Future Climate with Afforestation
by Ying Ouyang, Yanbo Huang, Prem B. Parajuli, Yongshan Wan, Johnny M. Grace, Peter V. Caldwell and Carl Trettin
Climate 2023, 11(5), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli11050108 - 17 May 2023
Viewed by 2399
Abstract
Sediment load in rivers is recognized as both a carrier and a potential source of contaminants. Sediment deposition significantly changes river flow and morphology, thereby affecting stream hydrology and aquatic life. We projected sediment load from the Pearl River basin (PRB), Mississippi into [...] Read more.
Sediment load in rivers is recognized as both a carrier and a potential source of contaminants. Sediment deposition significantly changes river flow and morphology, thereby affecting stream hydrology and aquatic life. We projected sediment load from the Pearl River basin (PRB), Mississippi into the northern Gulf of Mexico under a future climate with afforestation using the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool)-based HAWQS (Hydrologic and Water Quality System) model. Three simulation scenarios were developed in this study: (1) the past scenario for estimating the 40-year sediment load from 1981 to 2020; (2) the future scenario for projecting the 40-year sediment load from 2025 to 2064, and (3) the future afforestation scenario that was the same as the future scenario, except for converting the rangeland located in the middle section of the Pearl River watershed of the PRB into the mixed forest land cover. Simulations showed a 16% decrease in sediment load for the future scenario in comparison to the past scenario due to the decrease in future surface runoff. Over both the past and future 40 years, the monthly maximum and minimum sediment loads occurred, respectively, in April and August; whereas the seasonal sediment load followed the order: spring > winter > summer > fall. Among the four seasons, winter and spring accounted for about 86% of sediment load for both scenarios. Under the future 40-year climate conditions, a 10% reduction in annual average sediment load with afforestation was observed in comparison to without afforestation. This study provides new insights into how a future climate with afforestation would affect sediment load into the northern Gulf of Mexico. Full article
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19 pages, 7496 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Flood Frequency at Different Climatic Scenarios in Forested Coastal Watersheds
by Shreeya Bhattarai, Prem B. Parajuli and Filip To
Climate 2023, 11(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli11020041 - 9 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1994
Abstract
Climate change-induced extreme precipitation causes coastal flooding. A streamflow simulation in coastal watersheds, Wolf River Watershed (WRW) and Jourdan River Watershed (JRW), was conducted using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to compare variation in flow at different climates and to analyze [...] Read more.
Climate change-induced extreme precipitation causes coastal flooding. A streamflow simulation in coastal watersheds, Wolf River Watershed (WRW) and Jourdan River Watershed (JRW), was conducted using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to compare variation in flow at different climates and to analyze the flood frequency. Baseline models were auto-calibrated with SWAT calibration and uncertainty programs (SWAT-CUP). Kling–Gupta efficiency (KGE), defined as the objective function in SWAT-CUP, ranged from 0.8 to 0.7 in WRW and from 0.55 to 0.68 in JRW during the calibration–validation process. Results indicated reliability of the model performances. Monthly averaged baseline flow was 1% greater than historical and 8.9% lower than future climate in WRW. In JRW, monthly averaged baseline flow was 11% greater than historical and 5.7% lower than future climate. Flood frequency analysis showed the highest 1% exceedance probability in annual maximum series (AMS) of baseline model in WRW, whereas AMS of projected model was estimated the highest in JRW. This study aids in preparing for future flood management. Full article
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21 pages, 8426 KiB  
Article
Climate Change Impacts on Streamflow in the Krishna River Basin, India: Uncertainty and Multi-Site Analysis
by Ponguru Naga Sowjanya, Venkata Reddy Keesara, Shashi Mesapam, Jew Das and Venkataramana Sridhar
Climate 2022, 10(12), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10120190 - 1 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3329
Abstract
In Peninsular India, the Krishna River basin is the second largest river basin that is overutilized and more vulnerable to climate change. The main aim of this study is to determine the future projection of monthly streamflows in the Krishna River basin for [...] Read more.
In Peninsular India, the Krishna River basin is the second largest river basin that is overutilized and more vulnerable to climate change. The main aim of this study is to determine the future projection of monthly streamflows in the Krishna River basin for Historic (1980–2004) and Future (2020–2044, 2045–2069, 2070–2094) climate scenarios (RCP 4.5 and 8.5, respectively), with the help of the Soil Water and Assessment Tool (SWAT). SWAT model parameters are optimized using SWAT-CUP during calibration (1975 to 1990) and validation (1991–2003) periods using observed discharge data at 5 gauging stations. The Cordinated Regional Downscaling EXperiment (CORDEX) provides the future projections for meteorological variables with different high-resolution Global Climate Models (GCM). Reliability Ensemble Averaging (REA) is used to analyze the uncertainty of meteorological variables associated within the multiple GCMs for simulating streamflow. REA-projected climate parameters are validated with IMD-simulated data. The results indicate that REA performs well throughout the basin, with the exception of the area near the Krishna River’s headwaters. For the RCP 4.5 scenario, the simulated monsoon streamflow values at Mantralayam gauge station are 716.3 m3/s per month for the historic period (1980–2004), 615.6 m3/s per month for the future1 period (2020–2044), 658.4 m3/s per month for the future2 period (2045–2069), and 748.9 m3/s per month for the future3 period (2070–2094). Under the RCP 4.5 scenario, lower values of about 50% are simulated during the winter. Future streamflow projections at Mantralayam and Pondhugala gauge stations are lower by 30 to 50% when compared to historic streamflow under RCP 4.5. When compared to the other two future periods, trends in streamflow throughout the basin show a decreasing trend in the first future period. Water managers in developing water management can use the recommendations made in this study as preliminary information and adaptation practices for the Krishna River basin. Full article
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22 pages, 4398 KiB  
Article
Improving Future Estimation of Cheliff-Mactaa-Tafna Streamflow via an Ensemble of Bias Correction Approaches
by Mohammed Renima, Ayoub Zeroual, Yasmine Hamitouche, Ali Assani, Sara Zeroual, Ahmed Amin Soltani, Cedrick Mulowayi Mubulayi, Sabrina Taibi, Senna Bouabdelli, Sara Kabli, Allal Ghammit, Idris Bara, Abdennour Kastali and Ramdane Alkama
Climate 2022, 10(8), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10080123 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2139
Abstract
The role of climate change in future streamflow is still very uncertain, especially over semi-arid regions. However, part of this uncertainty can be offset by correcting systematic climate models’ bias. This paper tries to assess how the choice of a bias correction method [...] Read more.
The role of climate change in future streamflow is still very uncertain, especially over semi-arid regions. However, part of this uncertainty can be offset by correcting systematic climate models’ bias. This paper tries to assess how the choice of a bias correction method may impact future streamflow of the Cheliff-Mactaa-Tafna (CMT) rivers. First, three correction methods (quantile mapping (QM), quantile delta mapping (QDM), and scaled distribution mapping (SDM)) were applied to an ensemble of future precipitation and temperature coming from CORDEX-Africa, which uses two Representative Concentration Pathways: RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Then, the Zygos model was used to convert the corrected time series into streamflow. Interestingly, the findings showed an agreement between the three methods that revealed a decline in future streamflow up to [−42 to −62%] in autumn, [+31% to −11%] in winter, [−23% to −39%] in spring, and [−23% to −41%] in summer. The rate of decrease was largest when using QM-corrected model outputs, followed by the raw model, the SDM-corrected model, and finally, the QDM-corrected model outputs. As expected, the RCP presents the largest decline especially by the end of the 21st Century. Full article
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25 pages, 7248 KiB  
Article
Spatio-Temporal Trends of Precipitation and Temperature Extremes across the North-East Region of Côte d’Ivoire over the Period 1981–2020
by Kouamé Donald Kouman, Amos T. Kabo-bah, Boyossoro Hélène Kouadio and Komlavi Akpoti
Climate 2022, 10(5), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10050074 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4405
Abstract
The northeast region of Côte d’Ivoire, where agriculture is the main economic activity, is potentially vulnerable to extreme climatic conditions. This study aims to make a comprehensive spatio-temporal analysis of trends in extreme indices related to precipitation and temperature for the Zanzan region [...] Read more.
The northeast region of Côte d’Ivoire, where agriculture is the main economic activity, is potentially vulnerable to extreme climatic conditions. This study aims to make a comprehensive spatio-temporal analysis of trends in extreme indices related to precipitation and temperature for the Zanzan region of Côte d’Ivoire over the period of 1981–2020. The statistical significance of the calculated trends was assessed using the non-parametric Mann–Kendall test, while Sen’s slope estimation was used to define the amount of change. For extreme precipitations, the results showed a decreasing trend in annual total precipitations estimated at 112.37 mm and in daily precipitations intensity indices. Furthermore, the consecutive dry days’ index showed an increasing trend estimated at 18.67 days. Unlike the trends in precipitation extremes, which showed statistically non-significant trends, the trends in temperature extremes were mostly significant over the entire study area. The cold spells indices all show decreasing trends, while the warm spells show increasing trends. Drawing inferences from the results, it becomes clear that the study area may be threatened by food insecurity and water scarcity. The results are aimed to support climate adaptation efforts and policy intervention in the region. Full article
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16 pages, 8431 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Multiple Hurricanes and Tropical Storms on Watershed Hydrological Processes in the Florida Panhandle
by Ying Ouyang, Johnny M. Grace, Prem B. Parajuli and Peter V. Caldwell
Climate 2022, 10(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli10030042 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3591
Abstract
Hurricanes and tropical storms (TS) are infrequent but disastrous events to human lives, social activities, and terrestrial ecosystems in coastal regions. Using the Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA)’s Hydrologic and Water Quality System (HAWQS) model, principal component analysis (PCA), and principal factor analysis (PFA), [...] Read more.
Hurricanes and tropical storms (TS) are infrequent but disastrous events to human lives, social activities, and terrestrial ecosystems in coastal regions. Using the Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA)’s Hydrologic and Water Quality System (HAWQS) model, principal component analysis (PCA), and principal factor analysis (PFA), we estimated impacts of multiple hurricanes and TS on hydrological processes in agricultural and forested watersheds. Five hurricanes and four TS that passed near or through the Apalachicola–Chattahoochee–Flint River basin (ACFRB) of the Florida panhandle from 1966 to 2018 were selected to estimate their impacts on rainfall, potential evapotranspiration (PET), evapotranspiration (ET), soil water percolation, surface runoff, stream discharge, groundwater recharge, and water yield (WYLD). Simulations showed that the category of hurricanes was not highly related to the amounts of rainfall, runoff, discharge, and WYLD. Based on PCA and PFA, PET and ET were highly and negatively, rainfall and discharge were highly and positively, and percolation, runoff, groundwater recharge and WYLD were moderately and positively affected by the hurricanes and TS at the ACFRB in the recent 50 years. This study provides water resource managers with critical insights into how multiple hurricanes and TS affected hydrological processes in agricultural and forested watersheds of the coastal region. Full article
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