WATCH - WATer and global CHange

1. Februar 2007 - 31. Juli 2011

WATCH: WATer and Global Change.


Project Leader: Dr. Stefan Hagemann Öffnet ein Fenster zum Versenden einer E-Mail E-mail





The Global Water Cycle is an integral part of the Earth System. It plays a central role in global atmospheric circulations, controlling the global energy cycle (through latent heat) as well as the carbon, nutrient and sediment cycles. Globally, the supply of freshwater far exceeds human requirements. However, by the end of the 21st century, these requirements begin to approach the total available water. Of course, regionally the water demand for agriculture, and domestic and industrial use already exceeds supply.


Increasing CO2 levels and temperature are intensifying the global hydrological cycle, with an overall net increase of rainfall, runoff and evapotranspiration, and will increasingly do so. The predictions of future rainfall regionally are fairly uncertain, there are, however, indications that the Mediterranean region will see reductions of rainfall and some equatorial regions, such as India and the Sahel, will see increases. The seasonality may also change, causing new, and sometimes unexpected, vulnerabilities. The intensification of the hydrological cycle is likely to mean an increase in extremes floods and droughts. There are suggestions that inter-annual variability will increase with an intensification of the El Ninõ and NAO cycles leading to more droughts and large-scale flooding events. These cycles are global phenomena which will impact different regions simultaneously (although often in different ways).


The Integrated Project WATer and global CHange (externer Link folgtWATCH), funded under the EU FP6, will bring together the hydrological, water resources and climate communities to analyse, quantify and predict the components of the current and future global water cycles and related water resources states, evaluate their uncertainties and clarify the overall vulnerability of global water resources related to the main societal and economic sectors. WATCH is coordinated by CEH Wallingford (Richard Harding) and comprises 7 work blocks, whereas work block 3 (The global water cycle in of the 21st century) is lead by Stefan Hagemann (MPI-M).



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