HydEF stands for "Hydrological extremes and feedbacks in the changing water cycle".
Society must face up to the implications of significant climate change, in particular increased risks from extreme floods and droughts. Management of these risks relies on scientific knowledge about future climate and its effects. However, the ability of scientists to predict the possible magnitudes of floods and droughts, and the frequency with which they are expected to occur, is very limited. In many locations, scientists cannot yet agree on whether local climate will become wetter or drier.
For example, drought planning is a particular concern in the UK. It requires rainfall and evaporation to be represented accurately at daily to annual time scales, however we do not yet know how this can be achieved using climate and hydrological science, and what new science and models are needed. In addition, in order to predict future climate, the energy and moisture movement (evaporation) from the land surface to the atmosphere and oceans needs to be estimated with sufficient accuracy; yet at the moment the methods used are very simplistic, for example they neglect or greatly simplify the role of groundwater.
This project is producing the science and models needed to address these and other questions, with climatologists, hydrologists, hydrogeologists, water resource planners and mathematicians working together to help develop a new generation of water cycle models. Specifically, the project is:
In addressing these gaps in knowledge, the project crosses all four themes of NERC's Changing Water Cycle programme: land-atmosphere interactions; precipitation modelling; understanding of change; and innovative ways to assess consequences. Case studies will include the Thames catchment, the Eden catchment and the Isle of Wight, which represent the conditions over much of the UK.
HydEF inception report (March 2011)
Principle Investigator: Dr Neil Mcintyre, Imperial College London
Dr Richard Chandler, University College London
Dr Andrew Wade, University of Reading
Prof Denis Peach, British Geological Survey
Dr David Brayshaw, University of Reading
Dr Richard P Allan, University of Reading
Prof Nigel Arnell, University of Reading
Dr Adrian Butler, Imperial College London
Dr Christian Onof, Imperial College London
Prof Howard Wheater, Imperial College London
Dr Andrew Hughes, British Geological Survey
Dr Chris Jackson, British Geological Survey
Dr Nataliya Bulygina, Imperial College London
Dr David Lavers, University of Reading
Dr Chiara Ambrosino, University College London
Stephanie Bricker, British Geological Survey
David Macdonald, British Geological Survey