Min‐Hui Lo


DOI bib
Divergent effects of climate change on future groundwater availability in key mid-latitude aquifers
Wen‐Ying Wu, Min‐Hui Lo, Yoshihide Wada, J. S. Famiglietti, J. T. Reager, Pat J.‐F. Yeh, Agnès Ducharne, Zong‐Liang Yang
Nature Communications, Volume 11, Issue 1

Abstract Groundwater provides critical freshwater supply, particularly in dry regions where surface water availability is limited. Climate change impacts on GWS (groundwater storage) could affect the sustainability of freshwater resources. Here, we used a fully-coupled climate model to investigate GWS changes over seven critical aquifers identified as significantly distressed by satellite observations. We assessed the potential climate-driven impacts on GWS changes throughout the 21 st century under the business-as-usual scenario (RCP8.5). Results show that the climate-driven impacts on GWS changes do not necessarily reflect the long-term trend in precipitation; instead, the trend may result from enhancement of evapotranspiration, and reduction in snowmelt, which collectively lead to divergent responses of GWS changes across different aquifers. Finally, we compare the climate-driven and anthropogenic pumping impacts. The reduction in GWS is mainly due to the combined impacts of over-pumping and climate effects; however, the contribution of pumping could easily far exceed the natural replenishment.


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Emerging trends in global freshwater availability
Matthew Rodell, J. S. Famiglietti, D. N. Wiese, J. T. Reager, H. K. Beaudoing, F. W. Landerer, Min‐Hui Lo
Nature, Volume 557, Issue 7707

Freshwater availability is changing worldwide. Here we quantify 34 trends in terrestrial water storage observed by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites during 2002-2016 and categorize their drivers as natural interannual variability, unsustainable groundwater consumption, climate change or combinations thereof. Several of these trends had been lacking thorough investigation and attribution, including massive changes in northwestern China and the Okavango Delta. Others are consistent with climate model predictions. This observation-based assessment of how the world's water landscape is responding to human impacts and climate variations provides a blueprint for evaluating and predicting emerging threats to water and food security.