Major research gaps remain including an incomplete understanding of hydrological processes and links with atmosphere/biosphere/human society; appropriate techniques for data integration and/or assimilation; scaling and heterogeneity issues; capabilities to predict hydrological processes and their interactions and feedbacks with socio-ecological systems; uncertainty estimation, communication, and incorporation into adaptive resource management decision-making. Knowledge needs to be transferred more actively to policy makers to ensure that decisions take into account the best available information. Objectives include furthering research and developing early warning systems, supporting cooperation to advance vulnerability studies and adaptation actions related to climate change, and promoting innovative approaches to education and capacity building. These gaps in research and capacity building are addressed through five focal areas within the theme.
- Focal Area 1.1: Risk management as adaptation to global changes.
- Focal Area 1.2: Understanding coupled human and natural processes.
- Focal Area 1.3: Benefiting from global and local Earth observation systems.
- Focal Area 1.4: Addressing uncertainty and improving its communication.
- Focal Area 1.5 – Improve scientific basis for hydrology and water sciences for preparation and response to extreme hydrological events.