Research Topic

Understanding Hydrological Extremes and their Impact in a Changing Climate: Observations, Modeling and Attribution

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About this Research Topic

The hydrological cycle has been significantly affected by climate change. In this regard, climate-induced hydrological extremes, such as floods and droughts, have increased over many regions of the world during the past decades, and this trend seems likely to continue in the future. These hydrological ...

The hydrological cycle has been significantly affected by climate change. In this regard, climate-induced hydrological extremes, such as floods and droughts, have increased over many regions of the world during the past decades, and this trend seems likely to continue in the future. These hydrological extremes are the primary drivers of many natural disasters, which have led to large economic losses and damage to infrastructures in the past, and might further bring unprecedented threats to human societies in future under a changing climate. Therefore, there is a growing need to improve our understanding of hydrological extremes and their impacts for future risks management and strategic adaptation.

However, observing, modeling and understanding the hydrological extremes in a changing climate is still a challenge. In recent years, increasing hydroclimatic observations have been made available due to the rapid development of technology for acquiring land surface parameters, which facilitate the understanding and modeling of hydrological extremes. On the other hand, hydrologists have been looking to better understand extreme events by improving physically-based models towards a better assessment of the regional impacts of hydrological extremes. Thus, a better understanding of hydrological extreme events could be expected by synthesizing emerging global and local datasets and improved hydrological models.

This Research Topic focuses on hydrological extremes in the past and the future. Changes in hydrological extremes will be examined by using various observations and modeling datasets. Climate change and its impacts on hydrological extremes and their risks will be evaluated across regions of the world. The contributions of climate on the changes in hydrological extremes will be separated from the impact of human activities' by using integrated impact models. Uncertainties in hydrological extremes across the datasets and models will also be discussed. Addressing these issues will help identify the vulnerable regions and develop effective adaptation strategies for future climate change.

We welcome contributions on hydrological extremes studies carried out with enhanced observation capacity, improved modeling approaches and synthesis of both, which could boost our understanding of extreme events under climate change. The themes of the this Research Topic include but not limited to:

(1) novel approaches to identify hydrological extremes and to quantity their space-time patterns;
(2) new observations, datasets, and modeling tools to understand hydrological extremes;
(3) assessment of the changes in hydrological extremes (floods/droughts) in the past and future ranging from basin to continent scales;
(4) attribution of the changes in hydrological extremes; and
(5) projections of hydrological extremes and their impacts on our society under 1.5/2-degree global warming.


This Topic has been realised in collaboration with Dr Qian Zhou.


Keywords: hydrological extreme, climate change, hydrological modeling, observation, future projection


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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