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Water 2016, 8(12), 576;

Impact of Climate Change on Drought in the Upstream Yangtze River Region

College of Hydrology and Water Resources, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
Department of International Cooperation and Science and Technology, Ministry of Water Resources, Beijing 100035, China
Yellow River Institute of Science, North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Zhengzhou 450045, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xixi Wang
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 30 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 7 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Soil-Vegetation Dynamic Interactions in Changing Climate)
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Based on Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) dataset and a variable infiltration capacity (VIC) hydrological model, this study assesses the possible influence of climate change in the upstream region of the Yangtze River on droughts in the future 30 years. Long-term daily soil moisture content were simulated by VIC model at a 50 km × 50 km resolution from 1951 to 2013. Regional historical drought events were then recognized based on soil moisture anomaly percentage index and validated with field data. Five relatively independent representative global circulation models were selected and the outputs of them were downscaled temporally and spatially as the inputs of VIC model for daily soil moisture content simulations both in the period of 1971–2000 for the present-day climate and in the period of 2021–2050 for the future. The results show that the projected annual mean temperature is likely to increase from 1.4 °C to 1.8 °C. The projected change in mean annual precipitation could be increased slightly by 0.6% to 1.3%, but the trend of precipitation change in summer and autumn might be opposite of that. Comparing the drought characteristics values recognized in 1971–2000, seven to eight additional regional drought events are likely to happen in 2021–2050. Drought duration and drought intensity are also likely to extend for 18 d to 25 d and increase by 1.2% to 6.2%, respectively. But, drought area could decrease slightly by 1.3% to 2.7% on average. These changes in drought characteristics values suggest that regional drought could become more severely prolonged and frequent in future. View Full-Text
Keywords: VIC model; SMAPI; drought events; drought characteristics; RCPs; CMIP5 data VIC model; SMAPI; drought events; drought characteristics; RCPs; CMIP5 data

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Lu, G.; Wu, H.; Xiao, H.; He, H.; Wu, Z. Impact of Climate Change on Drought in the Upstream Yangtze River Region. Water 2016, 8, 576.

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