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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 21, issue 7 | Copyright

Special issue: Observations and modeling of land surface water and energy...

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3777-3798, 2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Review article 25 Jul 2017

Review article | 25 Jul 2017

Hydroclimatic variability and predictability: a survey of recent research

Randal D. Koster1, Alan K. Betts2, Paul A. Dirmeyer3, Marc Bierkens4, Katrina E. Bennett5, Stephen J. Déry6, Jason P. Evans7, Rong Fu8, Felipe Hernandez9, L. Ruby Leung10, Xu Liang9, Muhammad Masood11, Hubert Savenije12, Guiling Wang13, and Xing Yuan14 Randal D. Koster et al.
  • 1Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 2Atmospheric Research, Pittsford, VT, USA
  • 3Center for Ocean–Land–Atmosphere Studies, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA
  • 4Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 5Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, NM, USA
  • 6Environmental Science and Engineering Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
  • 7Climate Change Research Centre and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, UNSW, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 8Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 9Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • 10Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, P.O. Box 999, Richland, WA, USA
  • 11Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), Design Circle – 1, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • 12Water Resources Section, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, the Netherlands
  • 13Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Center for Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA
  • 14CAS Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment for Temperate East Asia (RCE-TEA), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Abstract. Recent research in large-scale hydroclimatic variability is surveyed, focusing on five topics: (i) variability in general, (ii) droughts, (iii) floods, (iv) land–atmosphere coupling, and (v) hydroclimatic prediction. Each surveyed topic is supplemented by illustrative examples of recent research, as presented at a 2016 symposium honoring the career of Professor Eric Wood. Taken together, the recent literature and the illustrative examples clearly show that current research into hydroclimatic variability is strong, vibrant, and multifaceted.

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Short summary
Large-scale hydrological variability can affect society in profound ways; floods and droughts, for example, often cause major damage and hardship. A recent gathering of hydrologists at a symposium to honor the career of Professor Eric Wood motivates the present survey of recent research on this variability. The surveyed literature and the illustrative examples provided in the paper show that research into hydrological variability continues to be strong, vibrant, and multifaceted.
Large-scale hydrological variability can affect society in profound ways; floods and droughts,...