Connecting hydrological modelling and forecasting from global to local scales: Perspectives from an international joint virtual workshop
Bart van Osnabrugge,
Journal of Flood Risk Management
Abstract The unprecedented progress in ensemble hydro‐meteorological modelling and forecasting on a range of temporal and spatial scales, raises a variety of new challenges which formed the theme of the Joint Virtual Workshop, ‘Connecting global to local hydrological modelling and forecasting: challenges and scientific advances’. Held from 29 June to 1 July 2021, this workshop was co‐organised by the European Centre for Medium‐Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the Copernicus Emergency Management (CEMS) and Climate Change (C3S) Services, the Hydrological Ensemble Prediction EXperiment (HEPEX), and the Global Flood Partnership (GFP). This article aims to summarise the state‐of‐the‐art presented at the workshop and provide an early career perspective. Recent advances in hydrological modelling and forecasting, reflections on the use of forecasts for decision‐making across scales, and means to minimise new barriers to communication in the virtual format are also discussed. Thematic foci of the workshop included hydrological model development and skill assessment, uncertainty communication, forecasts for early action, co‐production of services and incorporation of local knowledge, Earth observation, and data assimilation. Connecting hydrological services to societal needs and local decision‐making through effective communication, capacity‐building and co‐production was identified as critical. Multidisciplinary collaborations emerged as crucial to effectively bring newly developed tools to practice.
Developing observational methods to drive future hydrological science: Can we make a start as a community?
Nick A. Chappell,
Hayley J. Fowler,
David M. Hannah,
Robert A. Lamb,
Hydrological Processes, Volume 34, Issue 3
Hydrology is still, and for good reasons, an inexact science, even if evolving hydrological understanding has provided a basis for improved water management for at least the last three millennia. The limitations of that understanding have, however, become much more apparent and important in the last century as the pressures of increasing populations, and the anthropogenic impacts on catchment forcing and responses, have intensified. At the same time, the sophistication of hydrological analyses and models has been developing rapidly, often driven more by the availability of computational power and geographical data sets than any real increases in understanding of hydrological processes. This sophistication has created an illusion of real progress but a case can be made that we are still rather muddling along, limited by the significant uncertainties in hydrological observations, knowledge of catchment characteristics and related gaps in conceptual understanding, particularly of the sub-surface. These knowledge gaps are illustrated by the fact that for many catchments we cannot close the water balance without significant uncertainty, uncertainty that is often neglected in evaluating models for practical applications.