Articles | Volume 20, issue 7
Research article
29 Jul 2016
Research article |  | 29 Jul 2016

Mekong River flow and hydrological extremes under climate change

Long Phi Hoang, Hannu Lauri, Matti Kummu, Jorma Koponen, Michelle T. H. van Vliet, Iwan Supit, Rik Leemans, Pavel Kabat, and Fulco Ludwig

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Cited articles

Adamson, P. T.: Hydrological perspectives on the Lower Mekong Basin: The potential impacts of hydropower developments in Yunnan on the downstream flow regime, Int. Water Power Dam Constr., 16–21, 2001.
Adamson, P. T., Rutherfurd, I. D., Peel, M. C., and Conlan, I. A.: Chapter 4 – The Hydrology of the Mekong River, in: The Mekong, Academic Press, San Diego, 53–76,, 2009.
Arias, M. E., Cochrane, T. A., Piman, T., Kummu, M., Caruso, B. S., and Killeen, T. J.: Quantifying changes in flooding and habitats in the Tonle Sap Lake (Cambodia) caused by water infrastructure development and climate change in the Mekong Basin, J. Environ. Manage., 112, 53–66, 2012.
Arias, M. E., Cochrane, T. A., Kummu, M., Lauri, H., Holtgrieve, G. W., Koponen, J., and Piman, T.: Impacts of hydropower and climate change on drivers of ecological productivity of Southeast Asia's most important wetland, Ecol. Model., 272, 252–263,, 2014.
Cosslett, T. and Cosslett, P.: Major Threats to Mekong Delta: Climate Change and Mainstream Dams, in: Water Resources and Food Security in the Vietnam Mekong Delta, vol. 44, Natural Resource Management and Policy, Springer International Publishing, Cham, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London, 75–96,, 2014.
Short summary
We modelled hydrological changes under climate change in the Mekong River, focusing on extreme events. The scenario ensemble shows an intensification of the hydrological cycle under climate change. Annual river flow increases between 5 and 16 % depending on locations. Extreme high flows increase substantially in both magnitude and frequency, posing threats to flood safety in the basin. Extreme low-flow events are projected to reduce as a result of increased river flow during the dry season.