Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2012, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (3): 431-440 .doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0937-y

• Physical Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Response of runoff to climate change and its future tendency in the source region of Yellow River

LI Lin1,2, SHEN Hongyan1,2, DAI Sheng1,2, XIAO Jianshe2, SHI Xinghe1,2   

  1. 1. Qinghai Climate Centre, Xining 810001, China;
    2. Qinghai Key Laboratory of Disaster Prevention and Reduction, Xining 810001, China
  • Received:2011-11-15 Revised:2011-12-29 Online:2012-06-15 Published:2012-05-04
  • About author:Li Lin (1971-), Professor, specialized in climate change and its impact on water resources and environment. E-mail:
  • Supported by:

    Climate Change Science Foundation, No.CCSF2010-05; No.CCSF2011-01


This study examines the hydrological and meteorological data of the source region of the Yellow River from 1956 to 2010 and future climate scenarios from regional climate model (PRECIS) during 2010-2020. Through analyzing the flow variations and revealing the climate causes, it predicts the variation trend for future flows. It is found that the annual mean flow showed a decreasing trend in recent 50 years in the source region of the Yellow River with quasi-periods of 5a, 8a, 15a, 22a and 42a; the weakened South China Sea summer monsoon induced precipitation decrease, as well as evaporation increase and frozen soil degeneration in the scenario of global warming are the climate factors, which have caused flow decrease. Based on the regional climate model PRECIS prediction, the flows in the source region of the Yellow River are likely to decrease generally in the next 20 years.

Key words: climate change, surface water resource, monsoon, frozen soil, climate model, source region of the Yellow River