Global multimodel analysis of drought in runoff for the second half of the twentieth century

van Huijgevoort, M.H.J; Hazenberg, P.; van Lanen, H.A.J.; Teuling, A.J.; Clark, D.B.; Folwell, S.; Gosling, S.N.; Hanasaki, N.; Heinke, J.; Koirala, S.; Stacke, T.; Voss, F.; Sheffield, J.; Uijlenhoet, R.. 2013 Global multimodel analysis of drought in runoff for the second half of the twentieth century. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 14 (5).

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During the past decades large-scale models have been developed to simulate global and continental terrestrial water cycles. It is an open question whether these models are suitable to capture hydrological drought, in terms of runoff, on global scale. A multi-model ensemble analysis was carried out to evaluate if ten of such large-scale models agree on major drought events during the second half of the 20th century. Time series of monthly precipitation, monthly total runoff from ten global hydrological models, and their ensemble median have been used to identify drought. Temporal development of area in drought for various regions across the globe was investigated. Model spread was largest in regions with low runoff and smallest in regions with high runoff. In vast regions, correlation between runoff drought derived from the models and meteorological drought was found to be low. This indicated that models add information to the signal derived from precipitation and that runoff drought cannot directly be determined from precipitation data alone in global drought analyses with a constant aggregation period. However, duration and spatial extent of major drought events differed between models. Some models showed a fast runoff response to rainfall, which led to deviations from reported drought events in slowly responding hydrological systems. By using an ensemble of models, this fast runoff response was partly overcome and delay in drought propagating from meteorological drought to drought in runoff was included. Finally, an ensemble of models also allows to consider uncertainty associated with individual model structures.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.3 - Better represent hydrological and biogeochemical processes in Earth System Models
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Reynard
ISSN: 1525-755X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - Official URL link provides full text
Additional Keywords: drought, hydrology, hydrologic models, land surface model
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Date made live: 03 Dec 2013 15:35 +0 (UTC)

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