Climate change and soil moisture: A case study

T. Huszár, J. Mika, D. Lóczy, K. Molnár, Á Kertész

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An important aspect of regional climate change is alteration in soil moisture availability. The EPIC (Erosion Productivity Impact Calculator - Sharpley and Williams, 1990) model is applied to estimate soil hydrology consequences in a representative subcatchment (24 km2) of Lake Balaton, Hungary. The study is based on the soil hydrology parameters of the EPIC model, which exhibit a relatively fast response to the climate variations. To specify the regional climate scenario for Hungary in semi-annual time resolution, a statistical approach computing regression between regional and hemispherical mean climate characteristics is employed. The semi-annual scenarios are further refined by applying the principle of geographical analogy. This difference corresponds to a 0.5°K increase of the hemispherical mean temperature, i.e. the climate after 20-40 years of monotonous warming (IPCC, 1996a). Diurnal statistical parameters which correspond to present (base-line) and future climates of the investigated site are finally introduced into the built-in weather generator of the EPIC model. A supplementary factor of variation in soil hydrology is crop-rotation, responsible for half of the standard deviations, as compared to the hypothetical maize monoculture experiment. Climate generated differences in transpiration, soil moisture content, and crop-available water during water stress days. In connection with the assumed warming, there is a general trend towards drought during the vegetation growing period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-912
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part A: Solid Earth and Geodesy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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