Response of Runoff to Future Climate Change in the Upper Reaches of Heihe River Basin
Abstract: Understanding the changes of water resources in different climate scenarios for Heihe River Basin are of great importance due to its scare amount and its vital role in social sustainable development. Therefore, responses of runoff to future climate change in the upper reaches of Heihe River Basin were mainly focused on by using SWAT model. Results showed that, when precipitation increased by 10% and 20% with no change in temperature, annual average runoff depth would increase 24% and 49%; when precipitation de-creased by 10% and 20%, annual average runoff depth would decrease 20% and 37%; when temperature in-creased 1°C and 2°C, whlie precipitation was stable, annual average runoff depth would decrease 6% and 11%; and when temperature decreased 1°C and 2°C, annual average runoff depth would increase 13% and 27%. When temperature and precipitation changed simultaneously, more complex conditions would occur. To sum up, if the climate in the study area changed to warm and arid, water resources would decrease; if the climate there changed to cold and arid, changes in water resources would depend on the decreasing degree of precipitation and temperature; if the climates changed to warm and humid or cold and humid, water resources would increase, and more increase in water resources would occur for cold and humid climate. Results also showed that, different meteorological variables affected water resources in different ways. Precipitation had great effects on total water yield, while temperature affected the temporal distribution of water yield in the basin.
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