Revisiting global hydrological cycle: Is it intensifying?

D. Koutsoyiannis, Revisiting global hydrological cycle: Is it intensifying?, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, doi:10.5194/hess-2020-120, 2020.

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[English]

As a result of technological advances in monitoring atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere, as well as in data management and processing, several data bases have become freely available. These can be exploited in revisiting the global hydrological cycle with the aim, on the one hand, to better quantify it and, on the other hand, to test the established climatological hypotheses, according to which the hydrological cycle should be intensifying because of global warming. By processing the information from gridded ground observations, satellite data and reanalyses, it turns out that the established hypotheses are not confirmed. Instead of monotonic trends, there appear fluctuations from intensification to deintensification and vice versa, with deintensification prevailing in the 21st century. The water balance on land and sea appears to be lower than the standard figures of literature, but with greater variability on climatic time scales, which is in accordance with Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamics. The most obvious anthropogenic signal in the hydrological cycle appears to be the overexploitation of groundwater, which has a visible effect on sea level rise. Melting of glaciers has an equal effect, but in this case it is not known which part is anthropogenic, as studies on polar regions attribute mass loss mostly to ice dynamics.

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Our works that reference this work:

1. T. Iliopoulou, and D. Koutsoyiannis, Projecting the future of rainfall extremes: better classic than trendy, Journal of Hydrology, 588, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2020.125005, 2020.