20 Jun 2023
 | 20 Jun 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Water Cycle Acceleration in Czechia: A Water Budget Approach

Mijael Rodrigo Vargas Godoy, Yannis Markonis, Oldrich Rakovec, Michal Jenicek, Riya Dutta, Rajani Kumar Pradhan, Zuzana Bešťáková, Jan Kyselý, Roman Juras, Simon Michael Papalexiou, and Martin Hanel

Abstract. The water cycle in Czechia has been observed to be changing in recent years, with precipitation and evapotranspiration rates exhibiting a trend of acceleration. However, the spatial patterns of such changes remain poorly understood due to the heterogeneous network of ground observations. This study relied on multiple state-of-the-art reanalyses and hydrological modeling. Herein we propose a novel method for benchmarking hydroclimatic data fusion based on water cycle budget closure. We ranked water cycle budget closure of 96 different combinations for precipitation, evapotranspiration, and runoff using CRU TS v4.06, E-OBS, ERA5-Land, mHM, NCEP/NCAR R1, PREC/L, and TerraClimate. Then we used the best-ranked data to describe changes in the water cycle in Czechia over the last 60 years. We determined that Czechia is undergoing water cycle acceleration, evinced by increased atmospheric water fluxes. However, the increase in annual total precipitation is not as pronounced nor consistent as evapotranspiration, resulting in an overall decrease in the runoff. Furthermore, non-parametric bootstrapping revealed that only evapotranspiration changes are statistically significant at the annual scale. At higher frequencies, we identified significant spatial heterogeneity when assessing the water cycle budget at a seasonal scale. Interestingly, the most significant temporal changes in Czechia take place during spring, while median spatial patterns stem from summer changes in the water cycle.

Mijael Rodrigo Vargas Godoy et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2023-129', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Jul 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2023-129', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Aug 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on hess-2023-129', Anonymous Referee #3, 13 Sep 2023

Mijael Rodrigo Vargas Godoy et al.

Mijael Rodrigo Vargas Godoy et al.


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Short summary
The study introduces a novel benchmarking method based on the water cycle budget for hydroclimate data fusion. Using this method and multiple state-of-the-art datasets to assess the spatiotemporal patterns of water cycle changes in Czechia, we found that differences in water availability distribution are dominated by evapotranspiration. Furthermore, while the most significant temporal changes in Czechia occur during spring, the median spatial patterns stem from summer changes in the water cycle.