Abstract

We present a conceptual synthesis of the impact that agricultural activity in India can have on land-atmosphere interactions through irrigation. We illustrate a “bottom up” approach to evaluate the effects of land use change on both physical processes and human vulnerability. We compared vapor fluxes (estimated evaporation and transpiration) from a pre-agricultural and a contemporary land cover and found that mean annual vapor fluxes have increased by 17% (340 km3) with a 7% increase (117 km3) in the wet season and a 55% increase (223 km3) in the dry season. Two thirds of this increase was attributed to irrigation, with groundwater-based irrigation contributing 14% and 35% of the vapor fluxes in the wet and dry seasons, respectively. The area averaged change in latent heat flux across India was estimated to be 9 Wm−2. The largest increases occurred where both cropland and irrigated lands were the predominant contemporary land uses.

Publication Date

7-2006

Journal Title

Geophysical Research Letters

Publisher

Wiley

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1029/2006GL026550

Document Type

Article

Rights

Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

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