Hydrological consequences of global warming
Miller, Norman L. Climate Science Department, Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California.
- Accelerating hydrologic cycle
- Ocean circulation
- Early snowmelt
- Water resources
- Sea-level rise
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The hydrologic cycle, which includes water fluxes and stores in the atmosphere, oceans, and land regions, is accelerating because of global warming. Figure 1 shows the primary hydrologic cycle compartments and fluxes. The total volume of water in the Earth system is approximately 1.36 × 109 km3, with over 97% stored in the oceans, 2.9% stored as freshwater in lakes, rivers, ice, snow, and available groundwater, and approximately 0.1% in the atmosphere. The cycling of water consists of atmospheric water vapor transport and precipitation, surface evaporation, transpiration from vegetation, infiltration of water into the ground, overland runoff and riverflow, and water stored in the oceans, snow, glaciers, permafrost, and deep groundwater. Surface water evaporates and is transported by the winds and precipitates back to the surface, where a portion is reevaporated into the atmosphere, another portion infiltrates into the ground, and the remainder runs off into rivers and ultimately into the oceans.
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