The Global Energy and Water Cycle Exchanges (GEWEX) project is one of WCRP's four core projects. The global water cycle encompasses the continuous journey of water as it moves between the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere, and beneath the Earth’s surface. Clouds, precipitation, water vapor, surface radiation, aerosols, and other phenomena each play a role in the cycle. The GEWEX mission is to coordinate and facilitate science activities that measure and predict global and regional energy and water variations, trends, and extremes, such as heat waves, floods, and droughts, through improved observations and modeling of land, atmosphere, and their interaction.
The four GEWEX Science Questions (GSQs) address the contributions that water and energy cycle science can make to society in four major areas.
- Observations and Predictions of Precipitation: How can we better understand and predict precipitation variability and changes?
- Global Water Resource Systems: How do changes in land surface and hydrology influence past and future changes in water availability and security?
- Changes in Extremes: How does a warming world affect climate extremes, especially droughts, floods, and heat waves, and how do land area processes, in particular, contribute?
- Water and Energy Cycles and Processes: How can understanding of the effects and uncertainties of water and energy exchanges in the current and changing climate be improved and conveyed?
GEWEX Imperatives provide a detailed framework for GEWEX activities by focusing on areas where GEWEX can best advance water and energy cycle science.
GEWEX coordinates workshops, conferences and initiatives each year to meet these capabilities. In September 2016, the GEWEX Hydroclimatology Panel (GHP) and the Global Land/Atmosphere System Study (GLASS) Panel of GEWEX organized an important workshop in France to establish a strategy that addresses the various aspects of human activities within the GEWEX program, including of the WCRP Grand Challenge on Water for the Food Baskets of the World (see report in GEWEX News, page 4). The workshop included discussion on flow regimes downstream of a dam or reservoir, anthropogenic influences on the water cycle, improving anthropogenic hydrological processes in land-surface models, quantifying water resources, potential new study regions and the Human Regulation of the Water Cycle (HRWC) Project. All upcoming events are listed on the GEWEX website. Note especially that the 8th International Scientific Conference on the Global Energy and Water Cycle will be held in held in Canmore, Canada on 6-11 May 2018.
- Global Land/Atmosphere System Study (GLASS) Panel
- Global Atmospheric System Studies (GASS) Panel
- GEWEX Hydroclimatology Panel (GHP)
- GEWEX Data and Assessments Panel (GDAP)