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Water 2016, 8(9), 414; doi:10.3390/w8090414

Contributions of Climate Variability and Human Activities to Runoff Changes in the Upper Catchment of the Red River Basin, China

1
Yunnan Key Laboratory of International Rivers and Transboundary Eco-Security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
2
Asian International Rivers Center, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xixi Wang, Xuefeng Chu, Tingxi Liu, Xiangju Cheng and Rich Whittecar
Received: 7 August 2016 / Revised: 12 September 2016 / Accepted: 14 September 2016 / Published: 21 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Soil-Vegetation Dynamic Interactions in Changing Climate)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7298 KB, uploaded 21 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

Quantifying the effects of climate variability and human activities on runoff changes will contribute to regional water resource planning and management. This study aims to separate the effects of climate variability and human activities on runoff changes in the upper catchment of the Red River Basin in China. The Mann–Kendall test and Pettitt’s test methods were applied to identify the trends and change points of the hydro-meteorological variables. The hydrological sensitivity, climate elasticity and hydrological simulation methods were adopted to estimate the contributions of climate variability and human activities to runoff changes. Results showed that annual runoff significantly decreased by 1.57 mm/year during the period of 1961–2012. A change point in annual runoff coefficient occurred in 2002. Accordingly, the annual runoff series were divided into the baseline period (1961–2002) and the impacted period (2003–2012). Mean annual runoff of the impacted period decreased by 29.13% compared with the baseline period. Similar estimates of the contributions of climate variability and human activities were obtained by the three different methods. Climate variability was estimated to be responsible for 69%–71% of the reduction in annual runoff, and human activities accounted for 29%–31%. Climate variability was the main driving factor for runoff decrease in the catchment. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate variability; human activities; runoff change; hydrological sensitivity; climate elasticity; hydrological simulation; Red River climate variability; human activities; runoff change; hydrological sensitivity; climate elasticity; hydrological simulation; Red River
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, Y.; He, D.; Li, X.; Zhang, Y.; Yang, L. Contributions of Climate Variability and Human Activities to Runoff Changes in the Upper Catchment of the Red River Basin, China. Water 2016, 8, 414.

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