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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2016, Article ID 4143580, 17 pages
Research Article

Reference Evapotranspiration Changes: Sensitivities to and Contributions of Meteorological Factors in the Heihe River Basin of Northwestern China (1961–2014)

1Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received 2 August 2015; Accepted 5 November 2015

Academic Editor: Jan Friesen

Copyright © 2016 Chaoyang Du 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.


This paper investigates reference evapotranspiration changes, sensitivities to and contributions of meteorological factors in the Heihe River Basin (arid and inland region). Results show that annual over the whole basin has increasing trend (2.01 mm·10 yr−2) and there are significant increasing spatial variations from the upper (753 mm yr−1) to the lower (1553 mm yr−1) regions. Sensitivity analysis indicates that relative humidity is the most sensitive factor for seasonal and annual change, and the influence is negative. The sensitivity of minimum temperature is the weakest and negative. Contribution analysis shows that the main contributors to changes are aerodynamic factors rather than radiative factors. This study could be helpful to understand the response of ecoenvironment to the meteorological factors changes in the Heihe River Basin.