Worldwide soil moisture changes driven by future hydro-climatic change scenarios
Lucile Verrot and Georgia Destouni
Department of Physical Geography & Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Received: 11 Apr 2016 – Accepted for review: 07 May 2016 – Discussion started: 10 May 2016
Abstract. Soil moisture is a key variable in hydrology, ecology, and climate change science. It is also of primary importance for the agricultural and water resource sectors of society. This paper investigates how hydro-climatic changes, projected by 14 CMIP5 models and for different radiative forcing (RCP) scenarios to occur from 2006-2025 to 2080-2099, may affect different soil moisture aspects in 81 large catchments worldwide. Overall, for investigated changes in dry/wet event occurrence and in average value and inter-annual variability of seasonal water content, different RCP scenarios imply opposite directions of change in around half or more of the study catchments. Regardless of RCP scenario, the greatest projected changes are found for the inter-annual variability of seasonal soil water content. Especially for the dry-season water content, large increases in inter-annual variability emerge for several large catchments over the world; the considered RCP scenario determines precisely which these catchments are.
Verrot, L. and Destouni, G.: Worldwide soil moisture changes driven by future hydro-climatic change scenarios, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2016-165, 2016.