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Keywords:

  • global change;
  • short water cycle;
  • precipitation;
  • temperature;
  • vegetation;
  • wetland;
  • solar radiation

Abstract

Air temperature and precipitation changes in the decades 1961–2006 at Wet Meadows wetland ecosystem near Třeboň, South Bohemia were compared with the changes in these characteristics at other stations in the Czech Republic. Mean daily maximum air temperature measured during the vegetation growing season at wetland station Wet Meadows rose from 19·7 °C during the period 1961–1970 to 21·5 °C in the period 2001–2006 (i.e. 1·8 °C during 40 years). At Churáňov, a mountain forest station, this increase was from 14·7 to 15·8 °C (1·1 °C) and at Praha Ruzyně, a city station, the increase was from 20·0 to 20·7 °C (0·7 °C) during the same time. Mean number of precipitation days changed at Wet Meadows from 94·5 to 80·7 days per vegetation season, at Churáňov from 101·2 to 105·0 days per vegetation season and at Praha Ruzyně from 83·9 to 83·0 days per vegetation season during this time. We attribute the rise in temperature at Wet Meadows to a combined effect of climate change and a local change of the hydrological cycle. The disturbances in the short water cycle are attributed to the decrease in vegetation cover and the lack of water in the landscape. The consequent increase in the incoming direct solar radiation along with the rise in the heat coming into the area via precipitation as well as a decrease in and redistribution of precipitation events are considered major drivers of the meteorological changes that have resulted in the observed warming at Wet Meadows. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.