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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 960471, 10 pages
Research Article

Climate Change Impact on the Hydrology of a Typical Watershed in the Tianshan Mountains

1State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3Department of Geography, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
4National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand
5Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

Received 28 November 2014; Revised 26 March 2015; Accepted 15 April 2015

Academic Editor: Ming Pan

Copyright © 2015 Gonghuan Fang 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.


To study the impact of future climatic changes on hydrology in the Kaidu River Basin in the Tianshan Mountains, two sets of future climatic data were used to force a well-calibrated hydrologic model: one is bias-corrected regional climate model (RCM) outputs for RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 future emission scenarios, and the other is simple climate change (SCC) with absolute temperature change of −1~6°C and relative precipitation change of −20%~60%. Results show the following: (1) temperature is likely to increase by 2.2°C and 4.6°C by the end of the 21st century under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively, while precipitation will increase by 2%~24%, with a significant rise in the dry season and small change in the wet season; (2) flow will change by −1%~20%, while evapotranspiration will increase by 2%~24%; (3) flow increases almost linearly with precipitation, while its response to temperature depends on the magnitude of temperature change and flow decrease is significant when temperature increase is greater than 2°C; (4) similar results were obtained for simulations with RCM outputs and with SCC for mild climate change conditions, while results were significantly different for intense climate change conditions.