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Impact of possible climate and land use changes in the semi arid regions: a case study from north eastern Brazil

Montenegro, Suzana; Ragab, Ragab. 2012 Impact of possible climate and land use changes in the semi arid regions: a case study from north eastern Brazil. Journal of Hydrology, 434–435. 55-68. 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.02.036

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Abstract/Summary

This paper combines hydrological observations and modelling results of a semi arid catchment in Brazil that could lead to a better understanding of the hydrology of similar catchments in semi-arid regions. The Tapacurá catchment (area 470.5 km2) in the Northeast of Brazil was selected for this study. The Distributed Catchment Scale Model, DiCaSM, was calibrated and validated for the stream flows of the Tapacurá catchment. The model performance was further tested by comparing simulated and observed scaled soil moisture. The results showed the ability of the model to simulate the stream flow and the scaled soil moisture. The simulated impacts of climate change of low emission (B1) scenarios, on the worst perspective, indicated the possibility of reduction in surface water availability by 13.90%, 22.63% and 32.91% in groundwater recharge and by 4.98%, 14.28% and 20.58% in surface flows for the time spans 2010– 2039, 2040–2069, 2070–2099, respectively. This would cause severe impacts on water supply in the region. Changing the land use, for example by reforestation of part of the catchment area which is currently arable land, would lead to a decrease in both groundwater recharge by 4.2% and stream flow by 2.7%. Changing land use from vegetables to sugar cane would result in decreasing groundwater recharge by almost 11%, and increasing stream flow by almost 5%. The combination of possible impacts of climate change and land use requires a proper plan for water resources management and mitigation strategies.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.02.036
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Water
CEH Sections: Acreman
ISSN: 0022-1694
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This paper is the outcome of Post Doc work. Dr. Suzana Montenegro is now a professor at Federal University of Pernmabuco, Recife, PE, Brazil
Additional Keywords: distributed hydrological model, water balance, DiCaSM model, Tapacurá catchment, Brazil, climate and land use changes
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Agriculture and Soil Science
Ecology and Environment
Hydrology
Data and Information
Date made live: 17 Jul 2012 11:18
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/18755

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