Climate and land use/cover (LUC) are the two most significant factors that directly affect the runoff process. However, most research on runoff response has focused mainly on projected climate variation, while future LUC variability has been neglected. Therefore, the objective of this study is to examine the impacts of projected climate and LUC changes on runoff. Future climate scenarios are projected using the Quantile Mapping (QM) method, and future LUC scenarios are predicted with the Cellular Automaton-Markov (CA-Markov) model. Three different scenarios are simulated and compared to evaluate their impacts: Scenario 1 (LUC of 2010 and climate during the 2011–2050 period, abbreviated S1), Scenario 2 (LUC of 2010, 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050 and climate of the historical wet year, normal year and dry year, abbreviated S2) and Scenario 3 (LUC of 2010, 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050 and corresponding climate projections of 2011–2020, 2021–2030, 2031–2040 and 2041–2050 period, abbreviated S3). These three scenarios are then input into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to assess runoff responses. Beijiang River Basin, located in southern China, is used in this case study. The results obtained from S1, S2 and S3 show that runoff change in this basin is mainly caused by climate change; warmer temperatures and greater precipitation increase runoff. LUC change has little influence on runoff at the whole-basin scale, but changes in runoff components are more notable in the urban area than in the natural region at the sub-watershed level. The impact of LUC change in urbanized region on runoff components differ obviously among the wet, normal and dry years, and surface runoff and groundwater are found to be more sensitive to urbanization. Runoff depth is predicted to increase in this basin under the impacts of both climate and LUC changes in the future. Climate change brings greater increase in water yield and surface runoff, whereas LUC change leads to changes in allocation between surface runoff and groundwater in the urban region.
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