Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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
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 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.

Citation: Koster, R. D., Betts, A. K., Dirmeyer, P. A., Bierkens, M., Bennett, K. E., Déry, S. J., Evans, J. P., Fu, R., Hernandez, F., Leung, L. R., Liang, X., Masood, M., Savenije, H., Wang, G., and Yuan, X.: Hydroclimatic variability and predictability: a survey of recent research, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3777-3798,, 2017.
Publications Copernicus
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,...