Biosphere Aspects of the Hydrological Cycle

BAHC, a core project of the IGBP launched in 1991, addressed the question: How does vegetation interact with physical processes of the hydrological cycle?

BAHC Objectives

  • To determine the biospheric controls of the hydrological cycle through field measurements, for the purpose of developing models of energy and water fluxes in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system at temporal and spatial scales ranging from vegetation patches to General Circulation Model grid cells.
  • To develop appropriate databases that can be used to describe the interactions between the biosphere and the physical Earth System, and to test/validate model simulations of such interactions.

To achieve its objectives, BAHC built an interdisciplinary project in close collaboration with the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). This allowed for an integration of the knowledge and expertise from several natural science fields, in particular, meteorology, hydrology, pedology and ecology. BAHC´s joint research activities combined experimental and observational approaches, analytical methods and modeling techniques.

The BAHC International Project Office was first hosted by Institüt für Meteorologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and later by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact (PIK) with generous support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Funding.

BAHC Legacy

Vegetation, Water, Humans and the Climate. A New Perspective on an Interactive System. Kabat P, Claussen M, Dirmeyer PA, Gash JHC, de Guenni LB, Meybeck M, Vorosmarty CJ, Hutjes RWA, Lütkemeier S (Eds.). The IGBP Series, Springer Verlag, 2004, 566 pp.

For further information about the BAHC project, and for electronic material produced by BAHC, contact the IGBP Secretariat.