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HyMeX Science Plan, Version 2.3, May 2010

Abstract : The Mediterranean basin has quite a unique character that results both from physiographic conditions and historical and societal developments. The region features a nearly enclosed sea surrounded by very urbanized littorals and mountains from which numerous rivers originate. This results in many interactions and feedback between ocean-atmosphere-land processes that play a prominent role in climate and high-impact weather. The Mediterranean area actually concentrates the major natural risks related to the water cycle, including heavy precipitation and flash-flooding during the fall season, severe cyclogenesis associated with strong winds and large sea waves during winter, and heat waves and droughts accompanied by forest fires during summer. Such natural hazards highly impact the populations living in the area. The capability to predict such high-impact events remains weak because of the contribution of very fine-scale processes and their non-linear interactions with the larger scale processes. Water resource is a critical issue for a large part of the Mediterranean basin. Freshwater is rare and unevenly distributed in time and space with few short duration heavy precipitation and long drought periods. Such situation occurs against a background of increasing water demand and aggravates with climate change. The Mediterranean region has indeed been identified as one of the two main hot-spots of climate change, which means that its climate is especially responsive to global change. Large decrease in mean precipitation and increase in precipitation variability during dry (warm) season are expected, as well as large increase in temperature. Climate evolution in the Mediterranean is however still largely uncertain. This region is also characterized by a rapid increase of population and urbanization, putting higher pressure on water resources. Progress has to be made in the monitoring and modelling of the Mediterranean coupled climate system (atmosphere-land-ocean) in order to quantify the ongoing changes and to better predict their future evolution in order to provide guidelines for the development of adaptation measures. These societal and science issues motivate the HyMeX (Hydrological cycle in the Mediterranean Experiment, http://www.hymex.org/) experimental programme. HyMeX aims at a better quantification and understanding of the water cycle in the Mediterranean with emphasis on intense events. HyMeX proposes to monitor and model the Mediterranean atmosphere-land-ocean coupled system, as well as the social vulnerability related to water resources and extreme event impacts. The variability of the system will be monitored from the event to the seasonal and interannual scales, and its characteristics over one decade (2010-2020) in the context of global change. HyMeX science is organized along five major topics.
Mots-clés : BASSIN MEDITERRANEEN
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Vincent Ducrocq, Odile Roussot, K. Béranger, Isabelle Braud, Andre Chanzy, et al.. HyMeX Science Plan, Version 2.3, May 2010. [Research Report] irstea. 2010, pp.128. ⟨hal-02599633⟩

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