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The Water Cycle and Climate Change in the Mediterranean

Wednesday, 03 September 2014 Posted in News, BeWater News

cyclome medTwo recent papers highlight issues related to climate change impacts on the water cycle in the Mediterranean region.

The impact of climate change on vegetation and the water cycle was studied in a paper published in Regional Environmental Change. The study predicted the future of Euro-Mediterranean vegetation distribution, carbon dynamics, and water budget using simulations based on the Lund-Potsdam-Jena (LPJ) model.

The model scenarios developed by the research team from the Division on Impacts on Agriculture, Forest and Natural Ecosystems (IAFENT) at the Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC) revealed a critical situation in terms of water availability which could be worsened by the occurrence of extreme events like fires and more recurrent drought episodes.

In a second paper published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society a team of international researchers provide an overview of the aims and strategies for HyMeX (Hydrological cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment). This 10 year program aims to improve understanding about the Mediterranean water cycle and its dynamics. Many important challenges related to the water cycle are faced in the Mediterranean countries including water shortages, floods and extreme weather which could have critical impact on the socio-economic vitality of the region. The international program aims to advance scientific knowledge and improve processes-based models of the water cycle, as well as supporting policy makers with water related problems under the influence of climate change.

(click link for full list of authors). 2013. HyMeX: A 10-Year Multidisciplinary Program on the Mediterranean Water Cycle. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 95, 1063–1082.

Santini, M., Collalti, A., Valentini, R. 2014. Climate change impacts on vegetation and water cycle in the Euro-Mediterranean region, studied by a likelihood approach. Regional Environmental Change

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