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Calculation of past and present water availability in the Mediterranean Region and future estimates according to the Thornthwaite water-balance model

Karsili, Cansu LU (2013) In Student thesis series INES NGEM01 20131
Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
Abstract
The Mediterranean region is one of the most sensitive regions in the world in the face of climate change. Many studies name this region as a “hot spot”. It is essential to model the water balance of this region in order to better understand the impacts of climate change. The water balance expresses the net result of the flow of water from atmosphere to the surface and vice versa. It is one of the best ways to examine water availability –if the region is dry or wet- in a region. The first input of the model is potential evapotranspiration, which is calculated as a function of temperature and latitude using specific formulae produced by Thornthwaite. The other factors of the water balance are storage, actual evapotranspiration, surplus and... (More)
The Mediterranean region is one of the most sensitive regions in the world in the face of climate change. Many studies name this region as a “hot spot”. It is essential to model the water balance of this region in order to better understand the impacts of climate change. The water balance expresses the net result of the flow of water from atmosphere to the surface and vice versa. It is one of the best ways to examine water availability –if the region is dry or wet- in a region. The first input of the model is potential evapotranspiration, which is calculated as a function of temperature and latitude using specific formulae produced by Thornthwaite. The other factors of the water balance are storage, actual evapotranspiration, surplus and deficit. This study spans different time periods which are for the past, present and future. Because of changes that have already occurred in climate, the model produces different results for the three periods. Temperature rise will affect the water balance by enhancing potential evapotranspiration in the Mediterranean Region. Warming-enhanced evapotranspiration will hence increase water stress in the region. It is suggested that this effect will be more severe when combined with the decrease of precipitation. Areas under high stress are mainly in the inlands of North Africa, and mountainous areas such as the Alps. In the region there will not only be enhanced deficits, but also increased surpluses are suggested in some seasons. As has been shown in other studies, this study suggests significant seasonality in the Mediterranean Region. In general, the future Mediterranean Region seems to be exposed to more severe conditions and water availability will be under much greater stress. Most studies suggest a 20% decrease in precipitation and up to 4˚C of temperature rise in the Mediterranean Region by the end of this century. This study only focuses on temperature rise in the future, holding precipitation the same as in the present period. Even so, the model suggests significant changes in the future water balance of the Mediterranean Region. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular science
Climate change impacts on water balance of the Mediterranean region
Some regions and ecosystems are more sensitive than others in the face of a climate change. Mediterranean region which is the problematic of this thesis is one of those regions. Even now regions is showing differences on its hydrological pattern because of temperature rise. This study suggests more dramatical impacts in the future. In order to see the climate change impacts on the water balance of this region a model is created by using Geographical Information systems (GIS). The model is called Thornthwaite’s water balance. As a result of this model water needed and water excessed areas are analysed. The area is showing different water balance patterns... (More)
Popular science
Climate change impacts on water balance of the Mediterranean region
Some regions and ecosystems are more sensitive than others in the face of a climate change. Mediterranean region which is the problematic of this thesis is one of those regions. Even now regions is showing differences on its hydrological pattern because of temperature rise. This study suggests more dramatical impacts in the future. In order to see the climate change impacts on the water balance of this region a model is created by using Geographical Information systems (GIS). The model is called Thornthwaite’s water balance. As a result of this model water needed and water excessed areas are analysed. The area is showing different water balance patterns in different seasons and in general water need is high in spring and summer. In the future analyses suggest more water need and less water surplus in the region. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Karsili, Cansu LU
supervisor
organization
course
NGEM01 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Physical Geography and ecosystem analysis, climate change, water balance, Thornthwaite, Mediterranean, modelling, GIS.
publication/series
Student thesis series INES
report number
285
language
English
id
4139705
date added to LUP
2013-11-06 10:35:57
date last changed
2013-11-06 10:35:57
@misc{4139705,
  abstract     = {The Mediterranean region is one of the most sensitive regions in the world in the face of climate change. Many studies name this region as a “hot spot”. It is essential to model the water balance of this region in order to better understand the impacts of climate change. The water balance expresses the net result of the flow of water from atmosphere to the surface and vice versa. It is one of the best ways to examine water availability –if the region is dry or wet- in a region. The first input of the model is potential evapotranspiration, which is calculated as a function of temperature and latitude using specific formulae produced by Thornthwaite. The other factors of the water balance are storage, actual evapotranspiration, surplus and deficit. This study spans different time periods which are for the past, present and future. Because of changes that have already occurred in climate, the model produces different results for the three periods. Temperature rise will affect the water balance by enhancing potential evapotranspiration in the Mediterranean Region. Warming-enhanced evapotranspiration will hence increase water stress in the region. It is suggested that this effect will be more severe when combined with the decrease of precipitation. Areas under high stress are mainly in the inlands of North Africa, and mountainous areas such as the Alps. In the region there will not only be enhanced deficits, but also increased surpluses are suggested in some seasons. As has been shown in other studies, this study suggests significant seasonality in the Mediterranean Region. In general, the future Mediterranean Region seems to be exposed to more severe conditions and water availability will be under much greater stress. Most studies suggest a 20% decrease in precipitation and up to 4˚C of temperature rise in the Mediterranean Region by the end of this century. This study only focuses on temperature rise in the future, holding precipitation the same as in the present period. Even so, the model suggests significant changes in the future water balance of the Mediterranean Region.},
  author       = {Karsili, Cansu},
  keyword      = {Physical Geography and ecosystem analysis,climate change,water balance,Thornthwaite,Mediterranean,modelling,GIS.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Student thesis series INES},
  title        = {Calculation of past and present water availability in the Mediterranean Region and future estimates according to the Thornthwaite water-balance model},
  year         = {2013},
}