Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-166
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2024-166
04 Jun 2024
 | 04 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Evaluating future hydrological changes in China under climate change

Danyang Gao, Albert S. Chen, Toby Richard Marthews, and Fayyaz Ali Memon

Abstract. Projecting and understanding future hydrological changes in China are critical for effective water resource management and adaptation planning in response to climate variability. However, few studies have investigated runoff variability and flood and drought risks under climate change scenarios for the entire region of China at high resolution. In this study, we use the Joint UK Land Environment Simulator (JULES), specifically tailored for simulating hydrological processes in China at a 0.25-degree resolution. Downscaled and bias-corrected forcing data from Global Climate Models (GCMs), using the bias-correction and spatial disaggregation (BCSD) method, were used to drive the JULES model to project future hydrological processes under medium (SSP245) and high (SSP585) emission scenarios. The results indicate that annual runoff in China is projected to increase significantly under the high emission scenario, notably in the eastern and southern basins. Wetter summers and drier winters are expected in the south, while the opposite trend is expected in the north. Wetter conditions in the near future and drier summers in the far future are expected in northern China. Shifts from drier to wetter conditions are projected in the southeast and southwest areas, while the middle Yangtze River basin may experience the opposite trend. The flood risk is expected to increase in spring, summer, and autumn, along with heightened drought risk in winter, summer, and autumn. Southern China would face greater flood risk, while the central Yangtze River basin would face intensified drought risk, especially in the far future. These findings underscore the influence of different emission scenarios on flood and drought risks, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to enhance climate adaptation in the future.

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Danyang Gao, Albert S. Chen, Toby Richard Marthews, and Fayyaz Ali Memon

Status: open (until 30 Jul 2024)

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Danyang Gao, Albert S. Chen, Toby Richard Marthews, and Fayyaz Ali Memon
Danyang Gao, Albert S. Chen, Toby Richard Marthews, and Fayyaz Ali Memon

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Short summary
This work evaluated how runoff, flood and drought risks might change in China due to climate change. We found annual runoff is expected to increase notably under high emission scenario. Across most months, runoff is expected to increase, particularly during summer. Wetter summers and drier winters are expected in south China, while the opposite is expected in the north. Flood risks are expected to increase in the south, while drought risks are expected to rise in the south and centre.