Submitted to: Handbook of Erosion Modeling
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2010
Publication Date: 2/1/2011
Citation: Nunes, J., Nearing, M.A. 2011. Modelling impacts of climate change: Case studies using the new generation of erosion models. In: Morgan, R.P. and M.A. Nearing (eds.). Handbook of Erosion Modelling. Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, Chichester, West Sussex, UK. p. 289-312. Interpretive Summary: There is a growing consensus in Earth systems sciences that global temperatures are increasing and will continue to do so during the next century, leading to changes in global climate patterns. Although different regions of the globe could respond differently to global warming, most are expected to suffer significant changes to the amount and variability of rainfall and temperature, associated with an increase in the frequency of extreme episodes such as heat waves and high intensity storms. The purpose of this chapter is to explore these challenges. It begins by discussing potential impacts of climate change on soil erosion drivers and processes, and potential interactions between them. It then proceeds with a systematization of soil erosion modeling applied to climate change studies, discussing issues such as climate change scenario and model selection, or calibration and validation issues. This is followed by a number of case studies from around the globe which exemplify climate change impact assessment supported by a modelling framework. The chapter concludes with a discussion of research results in this area, current limitations and potential avenues of future research.
Technical Abstract: Climate change is expected to impact upon a number of soil erosion drivers and processes, which should be taken into account when designing a modelling strategy. The fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) (Parry et al., 2007; Solomon et al., 2007) reviews a number of potential changes to soil erosion drivers and processes. This chapter summarizes these impacts as changes to rainfall erosivity, water runoff, vegetation cover and soil erodibility, with a focus on the combined changes caused by desertification.