Yoshihide Wada


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A global near-real-time soil moisture index monitor for food security using integrated SMOS and SMAP
Sara Sadri, Ming Pan, Yoshihide Wada, Noemi Vergopolan, Justin Sheffield, J. S. Famiglietti, Yann H. Kerr, Eric F. Wood
Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 246

Abstract Soil Moisture (SM) is a direct measure of agricultural drought. While there are several global SM indices, none of them directly use SM observations in a near-real-time capacity and as an operational tool. This paper presents a near-real-time global SM index monitor based on integrated SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) and SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity) remote sensing data. We make use of the short period (2015–2018) of SMAP datasets in combination with two approaches—Cumulative Distribution Function Mapping (CDFM) and Bayesian conditional process—and integrate them with SMOS data in a way that SMOS data is consistent with SMAP. The integrated SMOS and SMAP (SMOS/SMAP) has an increased global revisit frequency and a period of record from 2010 to the present. A four-parameter Beta distribution was fitted to the SMOS/SMAP dataset for each calendar month of each grid cell at ~36 km resolution for the period from 2010 to 2018. We used an asymptotic method that guarantees the values of the bounding parameters of the Beta distribution will envelop both the smallest and largest observed values. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) test showed that more grids globally will pass if the integrated dataset is from the Bayesian conditional approach. A daily global SM index map is generated and posted online based on translating each grid's integrated SM value for that day to a corresponding probability percentile relevant to the particular calendar month from 2010 to 2018. For validation, we use the Canadian Prairies Ecozone (CPE). We compare the integrated SM with the SMAP core validation and RISMA sites from ISMN, compare our indices with other models (VIC, ESA's CCI SM v04.4 integrated satellite data, and SPI-1), and make a two-by-two comparison of candidate indices using heat maps and summary CDF statistics. Furthermore, we visually compare our global SM-based index maps with those produced by other organizations. Our Global SM Index Monitor (GSMIM) performed, in many tests, similarly to the CCI's product SM index but with the advantage of being a near-real-time tool, which has applications for identifying evolving drought for food security conditions, insurance, policymaking, and crop planning especially for the remote parts of the globe.

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Illuminating water cycle modifications and Earth system resilience in the Anthropocene
Tom Gleeson, Lan Wang‐Erlandsson, Miina Porkka, Samuel C. Zipper, Fernando Jaramillo, Dieter Gerten, Ingo Fetzer, Sarah Cornell, Luigi Piemontese, Line Gordon, Johan Rockström, Taikan Oki, Murugesu Sivapalan, Yoshihide Wada, Kate A. Brauman, Martina Flörke, M. F. Bierkens, Bernhard Lehner, Patrick Keys, Matti Kummu, Thorsten Wagener, Simon Dadson, Tara J. Troy, Will Steffen, Malin Falkenmark, J. S. Famiglietti
Water Resources Research, Volume 56, Issue 4

Fresh water – the bloodstream of the biosphere – is at the centre of the planetary drama of the Anthropocene. Water fluxes and stores regulate the Earth’s climate and are essential for thriving aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, as well as water, food and energy security. But the water cycle is also being modified by humans at an unprecedented scale and rate. A holistic understanding of freshwater’s role for Earth System resilience and the detection and monitoring of anthropogenic water cycle modifications across scales is urgent, yet existing methods and frameworks are not well suited for this. In this paper we highlight four core Earth System functions of water (hydroclimatic regulation, hydroecological regulation, storage, and transport) and key related processes. Building on systems and resilience theory, we review the evidence of regional-scale regime shifts and disruptions of the Earth System functions of water. We then propose a framework for detecting, monitoring, and establishing safe limits to water cycle modifications, and identify four possible spatially explicit methods for their quantification. In sum, this paper presents an ambitious scientific and policy Grand Challenge that could substantially improve our understanding of the role of water in the Earth System and cross-scale management of water cycle modifications that would be a complementary approach to existing water management tools.

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The Water Planetary Boundary: Interrogation and Revision
Tom Gleeson, Lan Wang‐Erlandsson, Samuel C. Zipper, Miina Porkka, Fernando Jaramillo, Dieter Gerten, Ingo Fetzer, Sarah Cornell, Luigi Piemontese, Line Gordon, Johan Rockström, Taikan Oki, Murugesu Sivapalan, Yoshihide Wada, Kate A. Brauman, Martina Flörke, M. F. Bierkens, Bernhard Lehner, Patrick Keys, Matti Kummu, Thorsten Wagener, Simon Dadson, Tara J. Troy, Will Steffen, Malin Falkenmark, J. S. Famiglietti
One Earth, Volume 2, Issue 3

The planetary boundaries framework proposes quantified guardrails to human modification of global environmental processes that regulate the stability of the planet and has been considered in sustainability science, governance, and corporate management. However, the planetary boundary for human freshwater use has been critiqued as a singular measure that does not reflect all types of human interference with the complex global water cycle and Earth System. We suggest that the water planetary boundary will be more scientifically robust and more useful in decision-making frameworks if it is redesigned to consider more specifically how climate and living ecosystems respond to changes in the different forms of water on Earth: atmospheric water, frozen water, groundwater, soil moisture, and surface water. This paper provides an ambitious scientific road map to define a new water planetary boundary consisting of sub-boundaries that account for a variety of changes to the water cycle.

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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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Recent global decline in endorheic basin water storages
Jida Wang, Chunqiao Song, J. T. Reager, Fangfang Yao, J. S. Famiglietti, Yongwei Sheng, Glen M. MacDonald, Fanny Brun, Hannes Müller Schmied, Richard A. Marston, Yoshihide Wada
Nature Geoscience, Volume 11, Issue 12

Endorheic (hydrologically landlocked) basins spatially concur with arid/semi-arid climates. Given limited precipitation but high potential evaporation, their water storage is vulnerable to subtle flux perturbations, which are exacerbated by global warming and human activities. Increasing regional evidence suggests a probably recent net decline in endorheic water storage, but this remains unquantified at a global scale. By integrating satellite observations and hydrological modelling, we reveal that during 2002–2016 the global endorheic system experienced a widespread water loss of about 106.3 Gt yr−1, attributed to comparable losses in surface water, soil moisture and groundwater. This decadal decline, disparate from water storage fluctuations in exorheic basins, appears less sensitive to El Nino–Southern Oscillation-driven climate variability, which implies a possible response to longer-term climate conditions and human water management. In the mass-conserved hydrosphere, such an endorheic water loss not only exacerbates local water stress, but also imposes excess water on exorheic basins, leading to a potential sea level rise that matches the contribution of nearly half of the land glacier retreat (excluding Greenland and Antarctica). Given these dual ramifications, we suggest the necessity for long-term monitoring of water storage variation in the global endorheic system and the inclusion of its net contribution to future sea level budgeting.


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Human–water interface in hydrological modelling: current status and future directions
Yoshihide Wada, Marc F. P. Bierkens, Ad de Roo, Paul A. Dirmeyer, J. S. Famiglietti, Naota Hanasaki, Megan Konar, Junguo Liu, Hannes Müller Schmied, Taikan Oki, Yadu Pokhrel, Murugesu Sivapalan, Tara J. Troy, Albert I. J. M. van Dijk, Tim van Emmerik, M.H.J. van Huijgevoort, H.A.J. van Lanen, Charles J Vörösmarty, Niko Wanders, H. S. Wheater
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Volume 21, Issue 8

Abstract. Over recent decades, the global population has been rapidly increasing and human activities have altered terrestrial water fluxes to an unprecedented extent. The phenomenal growth of the human footprint has significantly modified hydrological processes in various ways (e.g. irrigation, artificial dams, and water diversion) and at various scales (from a watershed to the globe). During the early 1990s, awareness of the potential for increased water scarcity led to the first detailed global water resource assessments. Shortly thereafter, in order to analyse the human perturbation on terrestrial water resources, the first generation of large-scale hydrological models (LHMs) was produced. However, at this early stage few models considered the interaction between terrestrial water fluxes and human activities, including water use and reservoir regulation, and even fewer models distinguished water use from surface water and groundwater resources. Since the early 2000s, a growing number of LHMs have incorporated human impacts on the hydrological cycle, yet the representation of human activities in hydrological models remains challenging. In this paper we provide a synthesis of progress in the development and application of human impact modelling in LHMs. We highlight a number of key challenges and discuss possible improvements in order to better represent the human–water interface in hydrological models.