Water and Global Change (WATCH) Special Collection
Water resources are under considerable pressure across the globe. Globally the supply of fresh water far exceeds human requirements but in many regions of the world water is already scarce and river and lake systems are the most polluted of the world’s ecosystems. Future climate change will exacerbate the pressures from increasing human populations and water demands. Although increasing temperatures are expected to lead to an overall increase in precipitation, the semiarid regions of the world may see reductions. There are also likely to be increases in extreme rainfall and drought.
This special collection brings together the results from the European-based program Water and Global Change (WATCH). WATCH has brought together climate and water scientists to provide a comprehensive analysis of our current and future water cycle. New global data sets have been developed, models have been assessed and improved, and new methodologies to assess floods and droughts produced. This special collection provides a representative synthesis of these contributions toward improved understanding of future state of the water cycles including the uncertainties in our current knowledge.
Richard Harding and Tanya Warnaars, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, U.K. National Environment Research Council