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Modeling response of soil erosion and runoff to changes in precipitation and cover

Abstract : Global climate has changed over the past century. Precipitation amounts and intensities are increasing. In this study we investigated the response of seven soil erosion models to a few basic precipitation and vegetation related parameters using common data from one humid and one semi-and watershed. Perturbations were made to inputs for rainfall intensities and amounts, and to ground surface cover and canopy cover. Principal results were that: soil erosion is likely to be more affected than runoff by changes in rainfall and cover, though both are likely to be significantly impacted; percent erosion and runoff will likely change more for each percent change in rainfall intensity and amount than to each percent change in either canopy or ground cover; changes in rainfall amount associated with changes in storm rainfall intensity will likely have a greater impact on runoff and erosion than simply changes in rainfall amount alone; changes in ground cover have a much greater impact on both runoff and erosion than changes in canopy cover alone. The results do not imply that future changes in rainfall will dominate over changes in land use, since land use changes can often be drastic. Given the types of precipitation changes that have occurred over the last century, and the expectations regarding changes over the next century, the results of this study suggest that there is a significant potential for climate change to increase global soil erosion rates unless offsetting conservation measures are taken. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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M.A. Nearing, Victor Jetten, C. Baffaut, Olivier Cerdan, Alain A. Couturier, et al.. Modeling response of soil erosion and runoff to changes in precipitation and cover. Soil Erosion under Climate Change: Rates, Implications, and Feedbacks, Nov 2003, Tucson, United States. ⟨10.1016/j.catena.2005.03.007⟩. ⟨hal-02834211⟩



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