Climate Change Research ›› 2021, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (6): 699-704.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2021.160

• Special Section on the Sixth Assessment Report of IPCC: WGI • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Water cycle changes: interpretation of IPCC AR6

JIANG Da-Bang(), WANG Na   

  1. Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • Received:2021-08-10 Revised:2021-09-03 Online:2021-11-30 Published:2021-09-16


The water cycle plays an important role in global and regional climate changes, and problems such as shortage of freshwater resources, expansion of subtropical drylands, and frequent occurrence of extreme droughts and floods, which are closely related to water cycle changes in the context of global warming, are becoming increasingly prominent and seriously constrain the sustainable development of ecosystems and human society. In the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), Working Group I established a separate chapter, namely Chapter 8, for an integrated assessment of global water cycle changes. AR6 suggested that human activity has significantly altered the global water cycle since the mid-20th century, including an overall increase in atmospheric moisture and precipitation intensity, changes in the global drought patterns, and the poleward shift of storm tracks in the Southern Hemisphere. Changes in the water cycle that have occurred were influenced by a variety of anthropogenic forcing including greenhouse gases, aerosol and land use change, while future water cycle changes will gradually be dominated by greenhouse gases.

Key words: IPCC, Water cycle, Assessment, Human activity

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