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    Developing spring wheat in the Noah-MP land surface model (v4.4) for growing season dynamics and responses to temperature stress
    (European Geosciences Union [Society Publisher], Copernicus Publications [Commercial Publisher], 2023) Zhang, Zhe; Li, Yanping; Chen, Fei; Harder, Philip; Helgason, Warren D.; Famiglietti, James; Valayamkunnath, Prasanth; He, Cenlin; Li, Zhenhua
    The US Northern Great Plains and the Canadian Prairies are known as the world’s breadbaskets for their large spring wheat production and exports to the world. It is essential to accurately represent spring wheat growing dynamics and final yield and improve our ability to predict food production under climate change. This study attempts to incorporate spring wheat growth dynamics into the Noah-MP crop model for a long time period (13 years) and fine spatial scale (4 km). The study focuses on three aspects: (1) developing and calibrating the spring wheat model at a point scale, (2) applying a dynamic planting and harvest date to facilitate large-scale simulations, and (3) applying a temperature stress function to assess crop responses to heat stress amid extreme heat. Model results are evaluated using field observations, satellite leaf area index (LAI), and census data from Statistics Canada and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Results suggest that incorporating a dynamic planting and harvest threshold can better constrain the growing season, especially the peak timing and magnitude of wheat LAI, as well as obtain realistic yield compared to prescribing a static province/state-level map. Results also demonstrate an evident control of heat stress upon wheat yield in three Canadian Prairies Provinces, which are reasonably captured in the new temperature stress function. This study has important implications in terms of estimating crop yields, modeling the land–atmosphere interactions in agricultural areas, and predicting crop growth responses to increasing temperatures amidst climate change.
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    Poor correlation between large-scale environmental flow violations and freshwater biodiversity: implications for water resource management and the freshwater planetary boundary
    (2022) Mohan, Chinchu; Gleeson, Tom; Famiglietti, James S.; Virkki, Vili; Kummu, Matti; Porkka, Miina; Wang-Erlandsson, Lan; Huggins, Xander; Gerten, Dieter; Jähnig, Sonja C.
    The freshwater ecosystems around the world are degrading, such that maintaining environmental flow1 (EF) in river networks is critical to their preservation. The relationship between streamflow alterations (subsequent EF violations2) and the freshwater biodiversity response is well established at the scale of stream reaches or small basins (~<100 km2). However, it is unclear if this relationship is robust at larger scales, even though there are large-scale initiatives to legalize the EF requirement. Moreover, EFs have been used in assessing a planetary boundary3 for freshwater. Therefore, this study intends to conduct an exploratory evaluation of the relationship between EF violation and freshwater biodiversity at globally aggregated scales and for freshwater ecoregions. Four EF violation indices (severity, frequency, probability of shifting to a violated state, and probability of staying violated) and seven independent freshwater biodiversity indicators (calculated from observed biota data) were used for correlation analysis. No statistically significant negative relationship between EF violation and freshwater biodiversity was found at global or ecoregion scales. These findings imply the need for a holistic bio-geo-hydro-physical approach in determining the environmental flows. While our results thus suggest that streamflow and EF may not be the only determinant of freshwater biodiversity at large scales, they do not preclude the existence of relationships at smaller scales or with more holistic EF methods (e.g., including water temperature, water quality, intermittency, connectivity, etc.) or with other biodiversity data or metrics.
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    Hotspots for social and ecological impacts from freshwater stress and storage loss
    (Nature Portfolio, 2022) Huggins, Xander; Gleeson, Tom; Kummu, Matti; Zipper, Sam; Wada, Yoshihide; Troy, Tara; Famiglietti, James S.
    Humans and ecosystems are deeply connected to, and through, the hydrological cycle. However, impacts of hydrological change on social and ecological systems are infrequently evaluated together at the global scale. Here, we focus on the potential for social and ecological impacts from freshwater stress and storage loss. We find basins with existing freshwater stress are drying (losing storage) disproportionately, exacerbating the challenges facing the water stressed versus non-stressed basins of the world. We map the global gradient in social-ecological vulnerability to freshwater stress and storage loss and identify hotspot basins for prioritization (n = 168). These most-vulnerable basins encompass over 1.5 billion people, 17% of global food crop production, 13% of global gross domestic product, and hundreds of significant wetlands. There are thus substantial social and ecological benefits to reducing vulnerability in hotspot basins, which can be achieved through hydro-diplomacy, social adaptive capacity building, and integrated water resources management practices.
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    Diagnosing Hydrological Process Controls in Streamflow Generation and Variability in a 1 Glacierized Alpine Headwater Basin
    (Wiley Online Library, 2022) Aubry-Wake, Caroline; Pradhananga, Dhiraj; Pomeroy, John
    Mountain glacierized headwaters are currently witnessing a transient shift in their hydrological and glaciological systems in response to rapid climate change. To characterize these changes, a robust understanding of the hydrological processes operating in the basin and their interactions is needed. Such an investigation was undertaken in the Peyto Glacier Research Basin, Canadian Rockies over 32 years (1988–2020). A distributed, physically based, uncalibrated glacier hydrology model was developed using the modular, object-oriented Cold Region Hydrological Modelling Platform to simulate both on and off-glacier high mountain processes and streamflow generation. The hydrological processes that generate streamflow from this alpine basin are characterized by substantial inter-annual variability over the 32 years. Snowmelt runoff always provided the largest fraction of annual streamflow (44% to 89%), with smaller fractional contributions occurring in higher streamflow years. Ice melt runoff provided 10% to 45% of annual streamflow volume, with higher fractions associated with higher flow years. Both rainfall and firn melt runoff contributed less than 13% of annual streamflow. Years with high streamflow were on average 1.43°C warmer than low streamflow years, and higher streamflow years had lower seasonal snow accumulation, earlier snowmelt and higher summer rainfall than years with lower streamflow. Greater ice exposure in warmer, low snowfall (high rainfall) years led to greater streamflow generation. The understanding gained here provides insight into how future climate and increased meteorological variability may impact glacier meltwater contributions to streamflow and downstream water availability as alpine glaciers continue to retreat.