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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015, Article ID 816532, 8 pages
Research Article

Assessment of Climate Change Effects on Water Resources in the Yellow River Basin, China

1National Engineering Research Center of Water Resources Efficient Utilization and Engineering Safety, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
2College of Hydrology and Water Resource, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China

Received 23 April 2014; Revised 30 August 2014; Accepted 31 August 2014

Academic Editor: Huiwang Gao

Copyright © 2015 Zhiyong Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The water resources in the Yellow River basin (YRB) are vital to social and economic development in North and Northwest China. The basin has a marked continental monsoon climate and its water resources are especially vulnerable to climate change. Projected runoff in the basin for the period from 2001 to 2030 was simulated using the variable infiltration capacity (VIC) macroscale hydrology model. VIC was first calibrated using observations and then was driven by the precipitation and temperature projected by the RegCM3 high-resolution regional climate model under the IPCC scenario A2. Results show that, under the scenario A2, the mean annual temperature of the basin could increase by 1.6°C, while mean annual precipitation could decrease by 2.6%. There could be an 11.6% reduction in annual runoff in the basin according to the VIC projection. However, there are marked regional variations in these climate change impacts. Reductions of 13.6%, 25.7%, and 24.6% could be expected in the regions of Hekouzhen to Longmen, Longmen to Sanmenxia, and Sanmenxia to Huayuankou, respectively. Our study suggests that the condition of water resources in the YRB could become more severe in the period from 2001 to 2030 under the scenario A2.