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Analyzing Precipitationsheds to Understand the Vulnerability of Rainfall Dependent Regions : Volume 8, Issue 5 (26/10/2011)

By Keys, P. W.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004005692
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 30
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Analyzing Precipitationsheds to Understand the Vulnerability of Rainfall Dependent Regions : Volume 8, Issue 5 (26/10/2011)  
Author: Keys, P. W.
Volume: Vol. 8, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Biogeosciences, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Keys, P. W., Nikoli, R., Van Der Ent, R. J., Gordon, L. J., Hoff, H., & G. Savenij, H. H. (2011). Analyzing Precipitationsheds to Understand the Vulnerability of Rainfall Dependent Regions : Volume 8, Issue 5 (26/10/2011). Retrieved from

Description: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden. It is well known that rivers connect upstream and downstream ecosystems within watersheds. Here we describe the concept of precipitationsheds to show how upwind terrestrial evaporation source areas contribute moisture for precipitation in downwind sink regions. We illustrate the importance of upwind land cover in precipitationsheds to sustain precipitation in critically water stressed downwind areas, i.e. dryland agricultural areas. We first identify seven regions where rainfed agriculture is particularly vulnerable to reductions in precipitation, and then map their precipitationsheds. We further develop a framework for qualitatively assessing the vulnerability of precipitation for these seven agricultural regions. We illustrate that the sink regions have varying degrees of vulnerability to changes in upwind evaporation rates depending on the extent of the precipitationshed, source region land use intensity and expected land cover changes in the source region.

Analyzing precipitationsheds to understand the vulnerability of rainfall dependent regions

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