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Climate change goes underground
Date:8/22/2007

MADISON, WI, AUGUST 22, 2007- Climate change, a recent hot topic when studying the atmosphere, oceans, and Earths surface; however, the study of another important factor to this global phenomenon is still very much underground. Few scientists are looking deep enough to see the possible effects of climate change on groundwater systems. Little is known about how soil, subsurface waters, and groundwater are responding to climate change.

Scientists with CSIRO Australia and USDAs Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have addressed the vital need for the prediction of climate change impacts on water below the ground. They report that the only way to make such predictions is with simulated interactions between soils and plants that are essential in determining sensitivities of soil-water-vegetation systems to climate change. In their recent research, they generated daily weather patterns that match historical records and predicted climates with double the carbon dioxide using a General Circulation Model (GCM) of the atmosphere. The daily weather that resulted was entered into a soil-water-vegetation model that represented soil absorbed water, water flow, and storage in soil, surface evaporation, plant uptake, transpiration of water, and deep drainage below the roots of trees and grasses that becomes groundwater recharge.

Results of this research are published in the August 2007 Vadose Zone Journal in a special section titled, Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change. The eight-articles in this special section are available as open-access for a limited time. This special section was edited by Timothy Green (USDA-ARS), Makoto Taniguchi (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Japan), and Henk Kooi (Vrije University, The Netherlands) includes studies of several locations around the world, including regions of Africa, Asia, Australia, Micronesia, North America, and Europe.

The simulation
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Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@soils.org
608-268-4948
Soil Science Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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