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Mapping probabilities of extreme continental water storage changes from space gravimetry

Abstract : Using data from the Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission, we derive statistically robust " hot spot " regions of high probability of peak anomalous—i.e., with respect to the seasonal cycle—water storage (of up to 0.7 m one-in-five-year return level) and flux (up to 0.14 m/month). Analysis of, and comparison with, up to 32 years of ERA-Interim reanalysis fields reveals generally good agreement of these hot spot regions to GRACE results and that most exceptions are located in the tropics. However, a simulation experiment reveals that differences observed by GRACE are statistically significant, and further error analysis suggests that by around the year 2020, it will be possible to detect temporal changes in the frequency of extreme total fluxes (i.e., combined effects of mainly precipitation and floods) for at least 10–20% of the continental area, assuming that we have a continuation of GRACE by its follow-up GRACE Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission.
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Jürgen Kusche, Annette Eicker, Ehsan Forootan, Anne Springer, Laurent Longuevergne. Mapping probabilities of extreme continental water storage changes from space gravimetry. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2016, 43 (15), pp.8026-8034 ⟨10.1002/2016GL069538⟩. ⟨insu-01355127⟩

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