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CR 80:105-120 (2020)  -  DOI:

Water budget changes in the Amazon basin under RCP 8.5 and deforestation scenarios

Weslley de Brito Gomes1,*, Francis Wagner Silva Correia2, Vinícius Buscioli Capistrano2, José Augusto P. Veiga2, Leonardo Alves Vergasta1, Sin Chan Chou3, André de Arruda Lyra3, Paulo Nobre3, Vinicius Machado Rocha4

1Postgraduate Program in Climate and Environment (CLIAMB, INPA/UEA), Av. André Araújo, 2936, Campus II, Aleixo, 69060-001, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
2Amazonas State University, Av. Darcy Vargas, 1200, Parque 10 de Novembro, 69065-020, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
3National Institute for Space Research, Av. Dos Astronautas, 1758, 12227-010, Sao Jose dos Campos, Sao Paulo, Brazil
4Federal University of Recôncavo of Bahia, Rua Rui Barbosa, 710, Campus Sede da UFRB, CEP 44.380-000, Cruz das Almas, Bahia, Brazil
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: We used climate models to assess the effects of 2 distinct anthropogenic forcings on the water budget in the Amazon basin: (1) increasing global greenhouse gases under the RCP8.5 scenario, and (2) land cover change caused by deforestation. The Eta regional climate model, driven by the Brazilian Earth System Model version 2.5 (BESM 2.5), was used to simulate the climate response under the RCP8.5 scenario and due to deforestation throughout the 21st century. Changes in energy and water budgets led to an increase in temperature that reached 5°C throughout the basin. In the RCP8.5 scenario, moisture convergence, precipitation and evapotranspiration all decreased. In this scenario, the positive feedback mechanism was predominant, as the reductions in evapotranspiration and moisture convergence acted in the same direction to reduce precipitation. In the future deforestation scenarios, reductions in precipitation were even stronger. In this case, the negative feedback mechanism predominated, in which the relative reduction in evapotranspiration was greater than the reduction in precipitation, leading to an increase in moisture convergence over the region. Changes in temperature and the water cycle were intensified in the future deforestation scenarios. These results show that the 2 anthropogenic factors can change the water budget and cause an imbalance in the climate-biome system in the Amazon basin, highlighting the need for public conservation policies to halt the increase in environmental degradation in the Amazon basin and to reduce greenhouse gases emissions due the burning of fossil fuels.

KEY WORDS: Amazon Basin · Anthropogenic scenarios · Deforestation · Water budget · Climate Modeling

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Cite this article as: Gomes WB, Correia FWS, Capistrano VB, Veiga JAP and others (2020) Water budget changes in the Amazon basin under RCP 8.5 and deforestation scenarios. Clim Res 80:105-120.

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