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Changes in the Freshwater System: Distinguishing Climate and Landscape Drivers
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5978-9884
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Freshwater is a vital resource that circulates between the atmosphere, the land and the sea. Understanding and quantifying changes to the partitioning of precipitation into evapotranspiration, runoff and water storage change in the landscape are required for assessing changes to freshwater availability. However, the partitioning processes and their changes are complex due to multiple change drivers and effects. This thesis investigates and aims to identify and separate the effects of atmospheric climate change and various landscape drivers on long-term freshwater change. This is done based on hydroclimatic, land-use and water-use data from the beginning of the twentieth century up to present times and across different regions and scales, from catchment to global. The analyzed landscape drivers include historic developments of irrigated and non-irrigated agriculture and flow regulation. The thesis uses and develops further a data-motivated approach to interpret available hydroclimatic and landscape data for identification of water change drivers and effects, expanding the approach application from local to continental and global scales. Based on this approach development, the thesis identifies hydroclimatic change signals of landscape drivers against the background of multiple coexisting drivers influencing worldwide freshwater change, within and among hydrological basins. Globally, landscape drivers are needed to explain more than 70% of the historic hydroclimatic changes, of which a considerable proportion may be directly human-driven. These landscape- and human-driven water changes need to be considered and accounted for also in modeling and projection of changes to the freshwater system on land.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University , 2015. , 84 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 47
Keyword [en]
Budyko, evapotranspiration, freshwater, hydrology, hydroclimatic change, landscape change, land use, observation data, runoff, separation, water partitioning, water storage change, water use, worldwide
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources Physical Geography Climate Research
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113101ISBN: 978-91-7649-092-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-113101DiVA: diva2:783027
Public defence
2015-03-05, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
VR, project 2009-3221
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2009-3221A multiscale, cross‐disciplinary approach to the study of climate change effect on ecosystem services and biodiversity
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Submitted.

Available from: 2015-02-11 Created: 2015-01-23 Last updated: 2015-01-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Multimethod assessment of evapotranspiration shifts due to non-irrigated agricultural development in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Multimethod assessment of evapotranspiration shifts due to non-irrigated agricultural development in Sweden
2013 (English)In: Journal of Hydrology, ISSN 0022-1694, E-ISSN 1879-2707, Vol. 484, 55-62 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the 20th century, Sweden underwent a persistent agricultural development. In this study, we use and combine historical hydroclimatic and agricultural data to investigate how this large scale change of land use, and subsequent intensification of crop production, affected regional hydrology in two adjacent Swedish drainage basins. We find a main increase of evapotranspiration (ET) as cultivated area and/or crop production increased during the period 1901-1940. Thereafter, ET stabilized at a new higher level. Comparison between the data given, water balance constrained ET quantification (ETwb), and a range of different comparative estimates of purely climate driven ET (ETclim) shows that only 31% of the steep 1901-1940 increase of ETwb can be explained by climate change alone. The remaining 69% of this ETwb shift, which occurred in both investigated drainage basins, is instead explainable to large degree by the regional land use conversion from seminatural grasslands to cultivated land and associated enhanced productivity of herbaceous species.

Keyword
Evapotranspiration, Climate change, Land use change, Agriculture, Hydrological flow partitioning, Hydroclimatic change
National Category
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-90004 (URN)10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.01.010 (DOI)000317453200006 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2009-3221
Note

AuthorCount:4;

Available from: 2013-05-20 Created: 2013-05-20 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Hydroclimatic shifts driven by human water use for food and energy production
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hydroclimatic shifts driven by human water use for food and energy production
2013 (English)In: Nature Climate Change, ISSN 1758-678X, E-ISSN 1758-6798, Vol. 3, no 3, 213-217 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hydrological change is a central part of global change(1-3). Its drivers in the past need to be understood and quantified for accurate projection of disruptive future changes(4). Here we analyse past hydro-climatic, agricultural and hydropower changes from twentieth century data for nine major Swedish drainage basins, and synthesize and compare these results with other regional(5-7) and global(2) assessments of hydrological change by irrigation and deforestation. Cross-regional comparison shows similar increases of evapotranspiration by non-irrigated agriculture and hydropower as for irrigated agriculture. In the Swedish basins, non-irrigated agriculture has also increased, whereas hydropower has decreased temporal runoff variability. A global indication of the regional results is a net total increase of evapotranspiration that is larger than a proposed associated planetary boundary(8). This emphasizes the need for climate and Earth system models to account for different human uses of water as anthropogenic drivers of hydro-climatic change. The present study shows how these drivers and their effects can be distinguished and quantified for hydrological basins on different scales and in different world regions. This should encourage further exploration of greater basin variety for better understanding of anthropogenic hydro-climatic change.

National Category
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-91541 (URN)10.1038/NCLIMATE1719 (DOI)000319399000012 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2009-3221
Note

AuthorCount:3;

Available from: 2013-07-01 Created: 2013-06-28 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Developing water change spectra and distinguishingchange drivers worldwide
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Developing water change spectra and distinguishingchange drivers worldwide
2014 (English)In: Geophysical Research Letters, ISSN 0094-8276, E-ISSN 1944-8007, Vol. 41, no 23, 8377-8386 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The separate and combined effects of different drivers of change to water fluxes and resources onland (CWOL) remain difficult to distinguish and largely unknown, particularly at a global scale. Our studyanalyzes CWOL during the period 1901–2008, based on available hydroclimatic data for up to 859 hydrologicalbasins. We develop a worldwide spectrum of change magnitudes and directions in Budyko space, from whichwe distinguish climate and landscape drivers of CWOL. We find that landscape drivers (e.g., changes in landand water use, water storage or water phase) are needed to explain CWOL in at least 74% of the basins studied.The water change effects of such landscape drivers are mostly opposite to those of atmospheric climatechange. The change spectrum approach we developed provides a useful tool for quantifying and visualizingCWOL and for distinguishing the effects of climate and landscape drivers across regions and scales.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2014
Keyword
budyko, runoff, precipitation, evapotranspiration, evaporative index, land use, water use, worldwide
National Category
Physical Geography Climate Research Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Hydrology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113099 (URN)10.1002/2014GL061848 (DOI)000348462000031 ()
Projects
VR, project 2009-3221
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2009-3221A multiscale, cross‐disciplinary approach to the study of climate change effect on ecosystem services and biodiversity
Available from: 2015-01-23 Created: 2015-01-23 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. Hydroclimatic changes worldwide: distinguishing freshwater signals of flow regulation and irrigation effects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hydroclimatic changes worldwide: distinguishing freshwater signals of flow regulation and irrigation effects
(English)In: Journal of Climate, ISSN 0894-8755, E-ISSN 1520-0442Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This study analyzes worldwide hydroclimatic changes over the period 1900-2009 based on observation data for 99 large hydrological basins across all continents. Worldwide, the observed atmospheric changes in temperature and (uncorrected or bias-corrected) precipitation over land cannot alone explain corresponding changes in evapotranspiration and runoff on land. Additional landscape drivers are needed to explain the latter. Possible effects of river system fragmentation and flow regulation (FFR) as such drivers are here investigated based on independent categorization and parameterization of FFR impact in the studied basins. Consistent signals of FFR-driven change are distinguished and include decrease in the long-term average runoff and the coefficient of short-term variation of runoff; these decreases are greater for basins with higher flow regulation factor. The signals also include increase in evapotranspiration relative to precipitation for strongly FFR-affected basins; this increase is greater for basins with higher flow regulation factor and higher irrigation index. These FFR-related change signals are distinguished consistently and directly from worldwide observation data, against the background of large change variability among basins and several coexisting drivers of water change for each basin. These findings should be used and accounted for in further quantification and projection of global freshwater change.

Keyword
hydroclimate, worldwide, irrigation, fragmentation andf flow regulation, runoff, evapotranspiration, runoff variability, precipitation variability, climate change
National Category
Physical Geography Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
Research subject
Hydrology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113096 (URN)
Projects
VR, project 2009-3221
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2009-3221A multiscale, cross‐disciplinary approach to the study of climate change effect on ecosystem services and biodiversity
Note

Manuscript in review

Available from: 2015-01-23 Created: 2015-01-23 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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