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Impacts of Climate Change and Land-Use Change on Hydrological Extremes in the Jinsha River Basin

1
State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2
Information Center (Hydrology Monitor and Forecast Center), Ministry of Water Resources of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing 100053, China
3
Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(7), 1398; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071398
Received: 30 April 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 4 July 2019 / Published: 7 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Impacts of Climate Change and Land Use/Land Cover Change)
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Abstract

Hydrological extremes are closely related to extreme hydrological events, which have been and continue to be one of the most important natural hazards causing great damage to lives and properties. As two of the main factors affecting the hydrological cycle, land-use change and climate change have attracted the attention of many researchers in recent years. However, there are few studies that comprehensively consider the impacts of land-use change and climate change on hydrological extremes, and few researchers have made a quantitative distinction between them. Regarding this problem, this study aims to quantitatively distinguish the effects of land-use change and climate change on hydrological extremes during the past half century using the method of scenarios simulation with the soil and water assessment tool (SWAT). Furthermore, the variations of hydrological extremes are forecast under future scenarios by incorporating the downscaled climate simulations from several representative general circulation models (GCMs). Results show that: (1) respectively rising and declining risks of floods and droughts are detected during 1960–2017. The land use changed little during 1980–2015, except for the water body and building land. (2) The SWAT model possesses better simulation effects on high flows compared with low flows. Besides, the downscaled GCM data can simulate the mean values of runoff well, and acceptable simulation effects are achieved for the extreme runoff indicators, with the exception of frequency and durations of floods and extreme low flows. (3) During the period 1970–2017, the land-use change exerts little impact on runoff extremes, while climate change is one of the main factors leading to changes in extreme hydrological situation. (4) In the context of global climate change, the indicators of 3-day max and 3-day min runoff will probably increase in the near future (2021–2050) compared with the historical period (1970–2005). This research helps us to better meet the challenge of probably increased flood risks by providing references to the decision making of prevention and mitigation measures, and thus possesses significant social and economic value. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrological extremes; climate change; land use change; SWAT model hydrological extremes; climate change; land use change; SWAT model
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Chen, Q.; Chen, H.; Wang, J.; Zhao, Y.; Chen, J.; Xu, C. Impacts of Climate Change and Land-Use Change on Hydrological Extremes in the Jinsha River Basin. Water 2019, 11, 1398.

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