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Title: Aerial and surface rivers: Downwind impacts on water availability from land use changes in Amazonia
Authors: Weng, W.Luedeke, M.Zemp, D.Lakes, T.Kropp, J.
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Issue Date: 2018
Published in: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Vol. 22 (2018), No. 1
Publisher: Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH
Abstract: The abundant evapotranspiration provided by the Amazon forests is an important component of the hydrological cycle, both regionally and globally. Since the last century, deforestation and expanding agricultural activities have been changing the ecosystem and its provision of moisture to the atmosphere. However, it remains uncertain how the ongoing land use change will influence rainfall, runoff, and water availability as findings from previous studies differ. Using moisture tracking experiments based on observational data, we provide a spatially detailed analysis recognizing potential teleconnection between source and sink regions of atmospheric moisture. We apply land use scenarios in upwind moisture sources and quantify the corresponding rainfall and runoff changes in downwind moisture sinks. We find spatially varying responses of water regimes to land use changes, which may explain the diverse results from previous studies. Parts of the Peruvian Amazon and western Bolivia are identified as the sink areas most sensitive to land use change in the Amazon and we highlight the current water stress by Amazonian land use change on these areas in terms of the water availability. Furthermore, we also identify the influential source areas where land use change may considerably reduce a given target sink's water reception (from our example of the Ucayali River basin outlet, rainfall by 5–12ĝ€% and runoff by 19–50ĝ€% according to scenarios). Sensitive sinks and influential sources are therefore suggested as hotspots for achieving sustainable land–water management.
Keywords: Deforestation; Ecosystems; Moisture; Rain; Runoff; Water management; Water resources; Watersheds; Agricultural activities; Atmospheric moisture; Hydrological cycles; Land-use scenario; Observational data; Rainfall and runoffs; Sustainable lands; Water availability; Land use; deforestation; evapotranspiration; hydrological cycle; hydrological regime; land use change; rainfall; runoff; teleconnection; water availability; water management; Amazonia; Bolivia; Peru; Ucayali River
DDC: 550
License: CC BY 4.0 Unported
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