Abstract : D.3
Hydrological cycle in the Mediterranean experiment (HyMeX): Towards a major field experiment in 2010-2012

Véronique Ducrocq, Philippe Drobinski, Karine Béranger, François Carlotti, Chantal Claud, Richard Escadafal, Guy Delrieu, Alexis Doerenbecher, François Dulac, Xavier Durrieu De Madron, Françoise Elbaz, Claude Estournel, Hervé Giordani, Cécile Guieu, Joel Guiot, Stéphane Hallegate, Masa Kageyama, Patrick Lachassagne, Laurent Li, Eric Martin, Frédéric Médail, Roger Moussa, Matthieu Plu, Louis Prieur, Serge Rambal, Didier Ricard, Jean-Daniel Rinaudo, Frank Roux, Samuel Somot, Isabelle Taupier-Letage
GAME/CNRM (Météo-France, CNRS)

The Mediterranean basin has quite a unique character that results both from physiographic conditions and historical and societal development. The region features a near closed sea surrounded by very urbanized littorals and mountains from which numerous rivers originate. This results in a lot of interactions and feedbacks between oceanic-atmospheric-hydrological processes that play a predominant role on climate and its ecosystems. These processes frequently cause extreme events that produce heavy damages and human losses; heavy precipitation and flash-flooding during the fall season, severe cyclogeneses associated with strong winds and large swell or droughts accompanied by forest fires during summer are examples of Mediterranean high-impact weather events.

There is a clear lack of an experimental project relying on up-to-date innovative instrumentation in order to go one step further in the understanding and predictability of the Mediterranean climate and associated weather events. Such a major multi-disciplinary and multi-scale experimental project is now envisaged within the 2010-2015 period. The hydrological cycle in the Mediterranean region has been identified as a key scientific, environmental and socio-economic issue that has to be addressed within such experimental project. The HyMeX (HYdrological cycle in the Mediterranean EXperiment, http://www.cnrm.meteo.fr/hymex/) project aims therefore at a better quantification and understanding of the hydrological cycle and related processes in the Mediterranean, with emphases put on high-impact weather events and regional impacts of the global change including that on ecosystems and the human activities.

A white book is currently written by a multidisplinary panel in order to detail the key scientific questions that HyMeX should address. Content of the whitebook will be presented at the conference, highlighting more specifically topics related to the orography.