The Effects Of Climate Change On Soil Moisture

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Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on the interactions between the land surface and atmosphere through alterations and feedbacks in various coupled processes. Soil moisture is one aspect of the climate system that may be significantly impacted by increased temperatures, especially in areas where snowpack contributes largely to soil moisture and streamflow. In addition to rising temperatures and changes in the timing and amount of precipitation, local factors such as soil properties, vegetation, and topography influence soil moisture distribution and streamflow. This paper reviews various studies attempting to identify how the mentioned climatic and local factors may impact soil moisture, and demonstrates some of the complexities associated with adequately modeling the impacts of climate change on various spatial scales.
Soil moisture plays a significant role in the climate system. Evaporation from the soil surface and transpiration through plant leaves connect land and atmospheric processes through the water and energy cycles, and feedbacks associated with soil moisture-atmospheric processes affect regional climate (Hagemann and Stacke, 2014). Soil moisture distribution impacts hydrologic processes including runoff generation and groundwater recharge in a catchment, in addition to biological processes and nutrient cycling (Williams et al., 2008). In regions where snowmelt runoff contributes to soil moisture and streamflow, understanding the factors
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