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Assessing water resources in China using PRECIS projections and a VIC model

Author(s): G. Q. Wang | J. Y. Zhang | J. L. Jin | T. C. Pagano | R. Calow | Z. X. Bao | C. S. Liu | Y. L. Liu | X. L. Yan

Journal: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
ISSN 1027-5606

Volume: 16;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 231;
Date: 2012;
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Climate change is now a major environmental and developmental issue, and one that will increase the challenge of sustainable water resources management. In order to assess the implications of climate change for water resources in China, we calibrated a Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model with a resolution of 50×50 km2 using data from 125 well-gauged catchments. Based on similarities in climate conditions, soil texture and other variables, model parameters were transferred to other areas not covered by the calibrated catchments. Taking runoff in the period 1961–1990 as a baseline, we studied the impact of climate change on runoff under three emissions scenarios, A2, B2 and A1B. Model findings indicate that annual runoff over China as a whole will probably increase by approximately 3–10% by 2050, but with quite uneven spatial and temporal distribution. The prevailing pattern of "north dry and south wet" in China is likely to be exacerbated under global warming.

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