Hydrology

  • Article |

    The core North American monsoon arises through topographic steering of the jet stream, and should be considered as convection-enhanced orographic rainfall produced by a mechanically forced stationary wave.

    • William R. Boos
    •  & Salvatore Pascale
  • Article |

    Woody plants across the continental United States make extensive use of water stored in bedrock across diverse climates and biomes.

    • Erica L. McCormick
    • , David N. Dralle
    •  & Daniella M. Rempe
  • Article |

    An intensity−duration−frequency model linking food shock risk to supply chain diversity in the USA finds that boosting a city’s food supply chain diversity increases the resistance of a city to food shocks of mild to moderate severity.

    • Michael Gomez
    • , Alfonso Mejia
    •  & Richard R. Rushforth
  • Article |

    Non-perennial rivers and streams are mapped globally, showing that more than half of rivers worldwide experience no flow for at least one day per year.

    • Mathis Loïc Messager
    • , Bernhard Lehner
    •  & Thibault Datry
  • Article |

    Analysis of satellite stereo imagery uncovers two decades of mass change for all of Earth’s glaciers, revealing accelerated glacier shrinkage and regionally contrasting changes consistent with decadal climate variability.

    • Romain Hugonnet
    • , Robert McNabb
    •  & Andreas Kääb
  • Article |

    Data from the ICESat-2 satellite quantifying the variability of water levels in natural and human-managed water bodies show that a disproportionate majority of global water storage variability occurs in human-managed reservoirs.

    • Sarah W. Cooley
    • , Jonathan C. Ryan
    •  & Laurence C. Smith
  • Article |

    Unexpected intervals of low 230Th concentration in marine sediment cores are explained by considering that during at least two such periods, the Arctic Ocean and Nordic seas were composed entirely of fresh water and covered by a thick ice shelf.

    • Walter Geibert
    • , Jens Matthiessen
    •  & Ruediger Stein
  • Article |

    Validated barrier inventories and modelling indicate that Europe’s rivers are fragmented by more than one million barriers, such as dams, weirs and fords, causing major impacts on biodiversity.

    • Barbara Belletti
    • , Carlos Garcia de Leaniz
    •  & Maciej Zalewski
  • Article |

    Applying a bias correction to a state-of-the-art dataset covering non-alpine regions of the Northern Hemisphere and to three other datasets yields a more constrained quantification of snow mass in March from 1980 to 2018.

    • Jouni Pulliainen
    • , Kari Luojus
    •  & Johannes Norberg
  • Article |

    An analysis based on Landsat imagery shows that the extent of river ice has declined extensively over past decades and that this trend will continue under future global warming.

    • Xiao Yang
    • , Tamlin M. Pavelsky
    •  & George H. Allen
  • Article |

    The worldwide distribution and water supply of water towers (snowy or glacierized mountain ranges) is indexed, showing that the most important water towers are also the most vulnerable to socio-economic and climate-change stresses, with huge potential negative impacts on populations downstream.

    • W. W. Immerzeel
    • , A. F. Lutz
    •  & J. E. M. Baillie
  • Letter |

    Estimates for when critical environmental streamflow limits will be reached—with potentially devastating economic and environmental effects—are obtained using a global model that links groundwater pumping with the groundwater flow to rivers.

    • Inge E. M. de Graaf
    • , Tom Gleeson
    •  & Marc F. P. Bierkens
  • Letter |

    A global dataset of river longitudinal profiles shows that river profiles become straighter with increasing aridity and numerical modelling suggests that this can be explained by rainfall–runoff regimes in different climate zones.

    • Shiuan-An Chen
    • , Katerina Michaelides
    •  & Michael Bliss Singer
  • Letter |

    Analysis of a comprehensive European flood dataset reveals regional changes in river flood discharges in the past five decades that are consistent with models suggesting that climate-driven changes are already happening.

    • Günter Blöschl
    • , Julia Hall
    •  & Nenad Živković
  • Article |

    Analysis of forest-management studies finds that forest removal is more likely to increase streamflow in areas with greater water storage between the surface and bedrock, and that forest planting is more likely to decrease streamflow in drier climates.

    • Jaivime Evaristo
    •  & Jeffrey J. McDonnell
  • Article |

    A comprehensive assessment of the world’s rivers and their connectivity shows that only 37 per cent of rivers longer than 1,000 kilometres remain free-flowing over their entire length.

    • G. Grill
    • , B. Lehner
    •  & C. Zarfl
  • Letter |

    Even in the absence of external perturbations, waterfalls can gradually form from planar bedrock riverbeds as a result of unstable interactions between flow hydraulics, sediment transport and bedrock erosion.

    • Joel S. Scheingross
    • , Michael P. Lamb
    •  & Brian M. Fuller
  • Analysis |

    Analysis of 2002–2016 GRACE satellite observations of terrestrial water storage reveals substantial changes in freshwater resources globally, which are driven by natural and anthropogenic climate variability and human activities.

    • M. Rodell
    • , J. S. Famiglietti
    •  & M.-H. Lo
  • Letter |

    Models show that even if global temperature rise can be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, only about 65 per cent of glacier mass will remain in the high mountains of Asia by the end of this century, and if temperatures rise by more than this the effects will be much more extreme.

    • P. D. A. Kraaijenbrink
    • , M. F. P. Bierkens
    •  & W. W. Immerzeel
  • Letter |

    Global food consumption drives irrigation for crops, which depletes aquifers in some regions; here we quantify the volumes of groundwater depletion associated with global food production and international trade.

    • Carole Dalin
    • , Yoshihide Wada
    •  & Michael J. Puma
  • Letter |

    Oxygen isotope records derived from stalagmites in the eastern Amazon reveal that rainfall was about half of today’s during the Last Glacial Maximum but half again as much during the mid-Holocene, broadly coinciding with global changes in temperature and carbon dioxide.

    • Xianfeng Wang
    • , R. Lawrence Edwards
    •  & Hong-Wei Chiang
  • Letter |

    Field measurements combined with remotely sensed data reveal the Cuvette Centrale in the central Congo Basin to contain the most extensive peatland complex in the tropics, increasing the best estimate of global tropical peatland carbon stocks by approximately one-third.

    • Greta C. Dargie
    • , Simon L. Lewis
    •  & Suspense A. Ifo
  • Letter |

    A freely available dataset produced from three million Landsat satellite images reveals substantial changes in the distribution of global surface water over the past 32 years and their causes, from climate change to human actions.

    • Jean-François Pekel
    • , Andrew Cottam
    •  & Alan S. Belward
  • Brief Communications Arising |

    • J. Evaristo
    • , S. Jasechko
    •  & J. J. McDonnell