Thursday, August 06, 2009

Atlas of the Global Water Cycle

An Atlas of the Global Water Cycle An Atlas of the Global Water Cycle by Wee Ho Lim and Michael L. Roderick is available free online from ANU ePress. This has maps of estimated rainfall, evaporation and runoff for the 20th century and predictions for the 21st century. There are maps for the globe and more detailed ones for Australia.

The book is available for free in PDF format chapter by chapter, as one large PDF file or can be ordered as a paperback. The data files used can also be downloaded.

Unfortunately the PDF is difficult to read having been formatted for print publication, not for on-line viewing. The text is in multiple columns, making it difficult to read on screen and the maps are small and blurry. However, this is a useful publication.

An Atlas of the Global Water Cycle

Based on the IPCC AR4 Climate Models

Wee Ho Lim and Michael L. Roderick

ISBN 9781921536885 (Print version) $95.00 (GST inclusive)
ISBN 9781921536892 (Online)
Published July 2009

- Whole Book (8.7 MB)

What do climate models predict for the rainfall where you live? What about evaporation or runoff? Should your local community consider constructing new dams or do the existing water storages appear adequate? What about the availability of water for irrigation farming? Do the predictions differ between different climate models or do all the models basically predict the same changes in water availability where you live?

These are all simple questions but it is surprisingly hard for an individual, whether they be a farmer, water resources engineer, teacher or interested citizen, to answer them. As researchers active in the field we could not answer the questions either. In fact, we had never seen a compilation of the rainfall, evaporation and runoff predictions made by all the different climate models.

The Atlas contains maps and tables that document model predictions contributed by international climate modelling groups to the 2007 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The predictions are made available here via the wonders of the internet and ongoing cooperation by the international climate modelling community who routinely archive their results.

The maps and tables in the Atlas document rainfall, evaporation and runoff estimates for the 20th century along with predictions of the same quantities at the end of the 21st century. Whatever your interest, we hope you find the Atlas as helpful as we do.

No comments: