Special Issue "Climate Change Effects on Hydrological Processes, Water Resources, Ecosystems and Agriculture"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2020) | Viewed by 11028

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Zhi (Luke) Wang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, California State University, Fresno, CA 93740, USA
Interests: fluid mechanics; hydrology; soil physics; climate change effects on hydrological processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climate on Earth is constantly changing. However, this round of global change towards warming is highly related to excessive emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gasses (GHGs) beyond the range of historical natural climate variability. The projections made by the IPCC of about 1.1 to 6.4 Degree-Celsius increase in the mean global temperature during the 21st century, and the reality of increased intensity and frequency of extreme weather events in recent decades, have led to world-wide awareness and concerns. Most nations are calling for and committed to immediate actions against inaction.

Water is crucial to life. This global warming trend has profound effects on all ecosystems but the most significant effects are found in the high altitude and latitude areas where most of the world’s fresh water is stored as snow and ice and would be released prematurely to the lowlands and oceans. In this special issue of WATER, we seek research contributions focused on climate change effects on hydrological processes, water resources, ecosystems and agriculture. Specifically, we aim to cover a wide range of recent climate change studies on the storage, movement and variability of water resources in the high mountain ranges (or water towers) of the world, such as Andes, Atlas, Alps, Caucasus, Himalayan, Urals, Rockies, Appalachians, and the Great Dividing Mountains, etc. Studies focused on the resulting alterations to the eco and agricultural systems in the downstream areas of the watersheds are equally welcome. Analyses should be based on realistic data observed at the fine local and regional scales in the human occupied areas rather than at the global scale and in the polar areas which have been largely covered by IPCC. Research methods can be either based on down-scaling of the general circulation models (GCMs), or applying the watershed models to local landscape and climate conditions.

Prof. Dr. Zhi (Luke) Wang
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • climate change
  • hydrological processes
  • water resources
  • ecosystems
  • agriculture
  • greenhouse gases
  • high mountain ranges
  • down-scaling of general circulation models
  • watershed models
  • fine local and regional scales

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Spatiotemporal Evolution of Evapotranspiration in China after 1998
Water 2020, 12(11), 3250; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12113250 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 862
Abstract
Changes in water circulation and uneven distributions of water resources caused by global warming are prominent problems facing the world at present. It is important to understand the influencing factors, and evapotranspiration (ET) is a key parameter for measuring the water cycle. However, [...] Read more.
Changes in water circulation and uneven distributions of water resources caused by global warming are prominent problems facing the world at present. It is important to understand the influencing factors, and evapotranspiration (ET) is a key parameter for measuring the water cycle. However, understanding of spatiotemporal changes in actual evapotranspiration and its mechanism is still limited by a lack of long-term and large-scale in situ datasets. Here, the evolution of evapotranspiration in typical East Asian monsoon areas in China from 1989 to 2005 was analyzed with global land ET synthesis products. Evapotranspiration in China showed evident interdecadal variations around 1998; it decreased before 1998 and subsequently increased, which is inversely related to global ET changes. We further divided China into water-control and energy-control regions to discuss the factors influencing ET changes in each region. The interdecadal variations in increasing ET after 1998 in China were dominated by increasing potential evaporation in the energy-control region. An analysis using the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) method found that this occurred because ET is mainly manifested as decadal changes controlled by climate warming in the energy-control region and as interannual variations in the water-control region. The different feedbacks of ET on climate change in the two regions were also reflected in the difference in energy partition. The change in the Bowen rate (BR) did not increase climatic differences between energy- and water-control zones, but increases in the BR in arid summers significantly affected local weather and climate. Full article
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Article
Modeling Long-Term Temporal Variation of Dew Formation in Jordan and Its Link to Climate Change
Water 2020, 12(8), 2186; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12082186 - 03 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1305
Abstract
In this study, we performed model simulations to investigate the spatial, seasonal, and annual dew yield during 40 years (1979–2018) at ten locations reflecting the variation of climate and environmental conditions in Jordan. In accordance with the climate zones in Jordan, the dew [...] Read more.
In this study, we performed model simulations to investigate the spatial, seasonal, and annual dew yield during 40 years (1979–2018) at ten locations reflecting the variation of climate and environmental conditions in Jordan. In accordance with the climate zones in Jordan, the dew formation had distinguished characteristics features with respect to the yield, seasonal variation, and spatial variation. The highest water dew yield (an overall annual mean cumulative dew yield as high as 88 mm) was obtained for the Mountains Heights Plateau, which has a Mediterranean climate. The least dew yield (as low as 19 mm) was obtained in Badia, which has an arid climate. The dew yield had a decreasing trend in the past 40 years due to climate change impacts such as increased desertification and the potential of sand and dust storms in the region. In addition, increased anthropogenic air pollution slows down the conversion of vapor to liquid phase change, which also impacts the potential of dew formation. The dew yield showed three distinguished seasonal patterns reflecting the three climates in Jordan. The Mountains Heights Plateau (Mediterranean climate) has the highest potential for dew harvesting (especially during the summer) than Badia (semi-arid climate). Full article
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Article
Assessment of Future Water Demand and Supply under IPCC Climate Change and Socio-Economic Scenarios, Using a Combination of Models in Ourika Watershed, High Atlas, Morocco
Water 2020, 12(6), 1751; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061751 - 19 Jun 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2500
Abstract
Climate change will affect the water resources system, on global and regional levels. Over the past thirty years, the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco have experienced severe droughts, which causes a decrease in water supply that affects both agriculture and the urban water [...] Read more.
Climate change will affect the water resources system, on global and regional levels. Over the past thirty years, the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco have experienced severe droughts, which causes a decrease in water supply that affects both agriculture and the urban water system. In this paper, we assess the impact of climate change and socio-economic activities on water supply and demand in the Ourika watershed (High Atlas of Morocco), then we evaluate the efficiency and sustainability of regional adaptation strategies for water supply management. For this, we simulate and analyze the future water situation using the statistical downscaling model (SDSM) and the water assessment and planning tool (WEAP). After the model’s calibration and validation, the precipitation, minimum (Tmin) and maximum (Tmax) temperatures, water demand and unmet water demand were projected for 2100 horizon, using different climate change scenarios. The results revealed that the model’s performance, calibration and validation were found to be satisfactory. The analysis shows that the mean precipitation will decrease by 49.25% and 34.61% by 2100, under A2 and B2 emission scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The projected mean Tmax and Tmin will be warmer than the baseline period, with Tmax increasing by 4.2 °C (A2) and 3.6 °C (B2), and Tmin by 3.5 °C (A2) and 2.9 °C (B2) by 2100. The results also show that water demand and the unmet water demand will increase in all scenarios, the pressure on water resources will increase, leading to water scarcity. The results reveal that, under the influence of climate change, future unmet water demand is expected to reach 64 million cubic meters (MCM) by 2100. The results demonstrate that the assessments of the proposed adaptation strategies are effective, but not sufficient to ensure water sustainability for the Ourika watershed. Full article
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Article
The Mixing Regime and Turbidity of Lake Banyoles (NE Spain): Response to Climate Change
Water 2020, 12(6), 1621; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12061621 - 06 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 853
Abstract
This study analyses the water temperature changes in Lake Banyoles over the past four decades. Lake Banyoles, Spain’s second highest lake, situated in the western Mediterranean (NE Iberian Peninsula). Over the past 44 years, the warming trend of the lake’s surface waters (0.52 [...] Read more.
This study analyses the water temperature changes in Lake Banyoles over the past four decades. Lake Banyoles, Spain’s second highest lake, situated in the western Mediterranean (NE Iberian Peninsula). Over the past 44 years, the warming trend of the lake’s surface waters (0.52 °C decade−1) and the cooling trend of its deep waters (−0.66 °C decade−1) during summer (July–September) have resulted in an increased degree of stratification. Furthermore, the stratification period is currently double that of the 1970s. Meanwhile, over the past two decades, lake surface turbidity has remained constant in summer. Although turbidity did decrease during winter, it still remained higher than in the summer months. This reduction in turbidity is likely associated with the decrease in groundwater input into the lake, which has been caused by a significant decrease in rainfall in the aquifer recharge area that feeds the lake through groundwater sources. As a unique freshwater sentinel lake under the influence of the climate change, Lake Banyoles provides evidence that global warming in the western Mediterranean boosts the strength and duration of the lake’s stratification and, in response, the associated decrease in the turbidity of its epilimnion. Full article
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Article
Simulation of the Potential Impacts of Projected Climate Change on Streamflow in the Vakhsh River Basin in Central Asia under CMIP5 RCP Scenarios
Water 2020, 12(5), 1426; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12051426 - 17 May 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1854
Abstract
Millions of people in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan are dependent on the freshwater supply of the Vakhsh River system. Sustainable management of the water resources of the Vakhsh River Basin (VRB) requires comprehensive assessment regarding future climate change and its implications for [...] Read more.
Millions of people in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan are dependent on the freshwater supply of the Vakhsh River system. Sustainable management of the water resources of the Vakhsh River Basin (VRB) requires comprehensive assessment regarding future climate change and its implications for streamflow. In this study, we assessed the potential impacts of projected climate change scenarios on the streamflow in the VRB for two future periods (2022–2060 and 2061–2099). The probable changes in the regional climate system were assessed using the outputs of five global climate models (GCMs) under two representative concentration pathways (RCPs), RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The probable streamflow was simulated using a semi-distributed hydrological model, namely the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Evidence of a significant increase in the annual average temperature by the end of the 21st century was found, ranging from 2.25 to 4.40 °C under RCP4.5 and from 4.40 to 6.60 °C under RCP8.5. The results of three GCMs indicated a decreasing tendency of annual average precipitation (from −1.7% to −16.0% under RCP4.5 and from −3.4% to −29.8% under RCP8.5). Under RCP8.5, two GCMs indicated an increase (from 2.3% to 5.3%) in the average annual precipitation by the end of 2099. The simulated results of the hydrological model reported an increasing tendency of average annual streamflow, from 17.5% to 52.3% under both RCPs, by the end of 2099. A shift in the peak flow month was also found, i.e., from July to June, under both RCPs. It is expected that in the future, median and high flows might increase, whereas low flow might decrease by the end of 2099. It is concluded that the future seasonal streamflow in the VRB are highly uncertain due to the probable alterations in temperature and precipitation. The findings of the present study could be useful for understanding the future hydrological behavior of the Vakhsh River, for the planning of sustainable regional irrigation systems in the downstream countries, i.e., Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, and for the construction of hydropower plants in the upstream countries. Full article
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Article
Streamflow into Beijing and Its Response to Climate Change and Human Activities over the Period 1956–2016
Water 2020, 12(3), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030622 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1265
Abstract
Streamflow is likely affected by climate change and human activities. In this study, hydro-meteorological data from six rivers upstream of Beijing, namely, the Yongdinghe, Baihe, Heihe, Chaohe, Juhe, and Jumahe Rivers, were analyzed to quantify the spatial and temporal variability of streamflow and [...] Read more.
Streamflow is likely affected by climate change and human activities. In this study, hydro-meteorological data from six rivers upstream of Beijing, namely, the Yongdinghe, Baihe, Heihe, Chaohe, Juhe, and Jumahe Rivers, were analyzed to quantify the spatial and temporal variability of streamflow and their responses to climate change and human activities over the period of 1956–2016. The Mann–Kendall test and moving t-test were used to detect trends and changing points of the annual streamflow. Results showed that the streamflow into Beijing experienced a statistically significant downward trend (p < 0.05), abruptly changing after the early 1980s, owing to climate and human effects. The climate elasticities of the streamflow showed that a 10% decrease in precipitation would result in a 24.5% decrease in total streamflow, whereas a 10% decrease in potential evapotranspiration would induce a 37.7% increase in total streamflow. Human activities accounted for 87% of the reduction in total streamflow, whereas 13% was attributed to climate change. Lastly, recommendations are provided for adaptive management of water resources at different spatial scales. Full article
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Article
Climate Change Impacts on Cold Season Runoff in the Headwaters of the Yellow River Considering Frozen Ground Degradation
Water 2020, 12(2), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020602 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1784
Abstract
Climate change has effects on hydrological change in multiple aspects, particularly in the headwaters of the Yellow River (HWYR), which is widely covered by climate-sensitive frozen ground. In this study, the annual runoff was partitioned into four runoff compositions: winter baseflow, snowmelt runoff, [...] Read more.
Climate change has effects on hydrological change in multiple aspects, particularly in the headwaters of the Yellow River (HWYR), which is widely covered by climate-sensitive frozen ground. In this study, the annual runoff was partitioned into four runoff compositions: winter baseflow, snowmelt runoff, rainy season runoff, and recession flow. In addition, the effects of global warming, precipitation change, and frozen ground degradation were considered in long-term variation analyses of the runoff compositions. The moving t-test was employed to detect change points of the hydrometeorological data series from 1961 to 2013, and flow duration curves were used to analyze daily runoff regime change in different periods. It was found that the abrupt change points of cold season runoff, such as recession flow, winter baseflow, and snowmelt runoff, are different from that of the rainy season runoff. The increase in winter baseflow and decrease in snowmelt runoff at the end of 1990s was closely related to global warming. In the 21st century, winter baseflow presented a larger relative increase compared to rainy season runoff. The correlation analyses indicate that winter baseflow and snowmelt runoff are mainly controlled by water-resource-related factors, such as rainy season runoff and the accumulated precipitation in cold season. To analyze the global warming impacts, two runoff coefficients—winter baseflow discharge rate (Rw) and direct snowmelt runoff coefficients (Rs)—were proposed, and their correlation with freezing–thawing indices were analyzed. The increase of Rw is related to the increase in the air temperature thawing index (DDT), but Rs is mainly controlled by the air temperature freezing index (DDF). Meanwhile, the direct snowmelt runoff coefficient (Rs) is significantly and positively correlated to DDF and has decreased at a rate of 0.0011/year since 1980. Under global warming, the direct snowmelt runoff (runoff increment between March to May) of the HWYR could decrease continuously in the future due to the decrease of accumulative snow in cold season and frozen ground degradation. This study provides a better understanding of the long-term runoff characteristic changes in the HWYR. Full article
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