Relative impacts of land use and climate change on summer precipitation in the Netherlands

Emma Daniels*, Geert Lenderink, Ronald Hutjes, Bert Holtslag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of historic and future land use on precipitation in the Netherlands are investigated on 18 summer days with similar meteorological conditions. The days are selected with a circulation type classification and a clustering procedure to obtain a homogenous set of days that is expected to favor land impacts. Changes in precipitation are investigated in relation to the present-day climate and land use, and from the perspective of future climate and land use. To that end, the weather research and forecasting (WRF) model is used with land use maps for 1900, 2000, and 2040. In addition, a temperature perturbation of +1 °C assuming constant relative humidity is imposed as a surrogate climate change scenario. Decreases in precipitation of, respectively, 3-5 and 2-5 % are simulated following conversion of historic to present, and present to future, land use. The temperature perturbation under present land use conditions increases precipitation amounts by on average 7-8 % and amplifies precipitation intensity. However, when also considering future land use, the increase is reduced to 2-6 % on average, and no intensification of extreme precipitation is simulated. In all, the simulated effects of land use changes on precipitation in summer are smaller than the effects of climate change, but are not negligible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4129-4142
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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