Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Closing the Water Cycle from Observations across Scales: Where Do We Stand?

Abstract : Life on Earth vitally depends on the availability of water. Human pressure on freshwater resources is increasing, as is human exposure to weather-related extremes (droughts, storms, floods) caused by climate change. Understanding these changes is pivotal for developing mitigation and adaptation strategies. The Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) defines a suite of essential climate variables (ECVs), many related to the water cycle, required to systematically monitor Earth's climate system. Since long-term observations of these ECVs are derived from different observation techniques, platforms, instruments, and retrieval algorithms, they often lack the accuracy, completeness, and resolution, to consistently characterize water cycle variability at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Here, we review the capability of ground-based and remotely sensed observations of water cycle ECVs to consistently observe the hydrological cycle. We evaluate the relevant land, atmosphere, and ocean water storages and the fluxes between them, including anthropogenic water use. Particularly, we assess how well they close on multiple temporal and spatial scales. On this basis, we discuss gaps in observation systems and formulate guidelines for future water cycle observation strategies. We conclude that, while long-term water cycle monitoring has greatly advanced in the past, many observational gaps still need to be overcome to close the water budget and enable a comprehensive and consistent assessment across scales. Trends in water cycle components can only be observed with great uncertainty, mainly due to insufficient length and homogeneity. An advanced closure of the water cycle requires improved model-data synthesis capabilities, particularly at regional to local scales.
Complete list of metadata

https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03671323
Contributor : Nathalie POTHIER Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - 1:55:07 PM
Last modification on : Monday, July 4, 2022 - 9:00:31 AM

File

[15200477 - Bulletin of the Am...
Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Licence


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Identifiers

Collections

Citation

Wouter Dorigo, Stephan Dietrich, Filipe Aires, Luca Brocca, Sarah Carter, et al.. Closing the Water Cycle from Observations across Scales: Where Do We Stand?. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 2021, 102, pp.E1897-E1935. ⟨10.1175/BAMS-D-19-0316.1⟩. ⟨insu-03671323⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

12

Files downloads

2