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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-281
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-281
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 15 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 15 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Widespread Decline in Terrestrial Water Storage and Its Link to Teleconnections across Asia and Eastern Europe

Xianfeng Liu1,2, Xiaoming Feng1, Philippe Ciais3, and Bojie Fu1 Xianfeng Liu et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 2School of Geography and Tourist, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
  • 3Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Abstract. Recent global changes in terrestrial water storage (TWS) and associated freshwater availability raise major concerns over the sustainability of global water resources. However, our knowledge regarding the long-term trend in TWS and its components is still not well documented. In this work, we characterize the spatiotemporal variations in TWS and its components over the Asian and Eastern European regions during the period of April 2002 to June 2017 using multiple sources of data, including Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite observations, land surface model simulations and precipitation observations. The connections of TWS and global major teleconnections (TCs) are also discussed. The results indicate a widespread decline in TWS during 2002–2017, and five hotspots of TWS negative trends were identified with trends between −8.94 mm yr−1 and −21.79 mm yr−1. TWS partitioning suggests that these negative trends are primarily attributed to the intensive overextraction of groundwater and warm-induced surface water loss, but the contributions of each hydrological component vary among hotspots. The results also indicate that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation are the three largest, dominant factors controlling the variations in TWS through the covariability effect on climate variables. However, seasonal results suggest a divergent response of hydrological components to TCs among seasons and hotspots. Our findings provide insights into changes in TWS and its components over the Asian and Eastern European regions, where there is a growing demand for food grains and water supplies.

Xianfeng Liu et al.
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Short summary
Freshwater availability is crucial for sustainable development across Asia and Eastern Europe Region. Our results indicate a widespread decline in terrestrial water storage over the region during 2002–2017, primarily due to the intensive overextraction of groundwater and warm-induced surface water loss. Our findings provide insights into changes in TWS and its components over the Asian and Eastern European regions, where there is a growing demand for food grains and water supplies.
Freshwater availability is crucial for sustainable development across Asia and Eastern Europe...
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