Quantifying the impact of climate change and human activities on streamflow in a Semi-Arid Watershed with the Budyko Equation incorporating dynamic vegetation information

Lei Tian, Jiming Jin, Pute Wu, Guo-Yue Niu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding hydrological responses to climate change and land use and land cover change (LULCC) is important for water resource planning and management, especially for waterlimited areas. The annual streamflow of the Wuding River Watershed (WRW), the largest sediment source of the Yellow River in China, has decreased significantly over the past 50 years at a rate of 5.2 mm/decade. Using the Budyko equation, this study investigated this decrease with the contributions from climate change and LULCC caused by human activities, which have intensified since 1999 due to China's Grain for Green Project (GFGP). The Budyko parameter that represents watershed characteristics was more reasonably configured and derived to improve the performance of the Budyko equation. Vegetation changes were included in the Budyko equation to further improve its simulations, and these changes showed a significant upward trend due to the GFGP based on satellite data. An improved decomposition method based on the Budyko equation was used to quantitatively separate the impact of climate change from that of LULCC on the streamflow in the WRW. Our results show that climate change generated a dominant effect on the streamflow and decreased it by 72.4% in the WRW. This climatic effect can be further explained with the drying trend of the Palmer Severity Drought Index, which was calculated based only on climate change information for the WRW. In the meantime, although human activities in this watershed have been very intense, especially since 1999, vegetation cover increase contributed a 27.6% decline to the streamflow, which played a secondary role in affecting hydrological processes in the WRW.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1781
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 4 2018

Fingerprint

Climate Change
vegetation dynamics
stream flow
Watersheds
Rivers
Human Activities
Climate change
streamflow
human activity
climate change
river
watershed
vegetation
rivers
land cover
Land use
land use
agricultural product
China
Water Resources

Keywords

  • Budyko equation
  • Climate change
  • Drought
  • LULCC
  • Streamflow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

@article{96b7a2d384ca49f9a0149f42c72513d8,
title = "Quantifying the impact of climate change and human activities on streamflow in a Semi-Arid Watershed with the Budyko Equation incorporating dynamic vegetation information",
abstract = "Understanding hydrological responses to climate change and land use and land cover change (LULCC) is important for water resource planning and management, especially for waterlimited areas. The annual streamflow of the Wuding River Watershed (WRW), the largest sediment source of the Yellow River in China, has decreased significantly over the past 50 years at a rate of 5.2 mm/decade. Using the Budyko equation, this study investigated this decrease with the contributions from climate change and LULCC caused by human activities, which have intensified since 1999 due to China's Grain for Green Project (GFGP). The Budyko parameter that represents watershed characteristics was more reasonably configured and derived to improve the performance of the Budyko equation. Vegetation changes were included in the Budyko equation to further improve its simulations, and these changes showed a significant upward trend due to the GFGP based on satellite data. An improved decomposition method based on the Budyko equation was used to quantitatively separate the impact of climate change from that of LULCC on the streamflow in the WRW. Our results show that climate change generated a dominant effect on the streamflow and decreased it by 72.4{\%} in the WRW. This climatic effect can be further explained with the drying trend of the Palmer Severity Drought Index, which was calculated based only on climate change information for the WRW. In the meantime, although human activities in this watershed have been very intense, especially since 1999, vegetation cover increase contributed a 27.6{\%} decline to the streamflow, which played a secondary role in affecting hydrological processes in the WRW.",
keywords = "Budyko equation, Climate change, Drought, LULCC, Streamflow",
author = "Lei Tian and Jiming Jin and Pute Wu and Guo-Yue Niu",
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AU - Tian, Lei

AU - Jin, Jiming

AU - Wu, Pute

AU - Niu, Guo-Yue

PY - 2018/12/4

Y1 - 2018/12/4

N2 - Understanding hydrological responses to climate change and land use and land cover change (LULCC) is important for water resource planning and management, especially for waterlimited areas. The annual streamflow of the Wuding River Watershed (WRW), the largest sediment source of the Yellow River in China, has decreased significantly over the past 50 years at a rate of 5.2 mm/decade. Using the Budyko equation, this study investigated this decrease with the contributions from climate change and LULCC caused by human activities, which have intensified since 1999 due to China's Grain for Green Project (GFGP). The Budyko parameter that represents watershed characteristics was more reasonably configured and derived to improve the performance of the Budyko equation. Vegetation changes were included in the Budyko equation to further improve its simulations, and these changes showed a significant upward trend due to the GFGP based on satellite data. An improved decomposition method based on the Budyko equation was used to quantitatively separate the impact of climate change from that of LULCC on the streamflow in the WRW. Our results show that climate change generated a dominant effect on the streamflow and decreased it by 72.4% in the WRW. This climatic effect can be further explained with the drying trend of the Palmer Severity Drought Index, which was calculated based only on climate change information for the WRW. In the meantime, although human activities in this watershed have been very intense, especially since 1999, vegetation cover increase contributed a 27.6% decline to the streamflow, which played a secondary role in affecting hydrological processes in the WRW.

AB - Understanding hydrological responses to climate change and land use and land cover change (LULCC) is important for water resource planning and management, especially for waterlimited areas. The annual streamflow of the Wuding River Watershed (WRW), the largest sediment source of the Yellow River in China, has decreased significantly over the past 50 years at a rate of 5.2 mm/decade. Using the Budyko equation, this study investigated this decrease with the contributions from climate change and LULCC caused by human activities, which have intensified since 1999 due to China's Grain for Green Project (GFGP). The Budyko parameter that represents watershed characteristics was more reasonably configured and derived to improve the performance of the Budyko equation. Vegetation changes were included in the Budyko equation to further improve its simulations, and these changes showed a significant upward trend due to the GFGP based on satellite data. An improved decomposition method based on the Budyko equation was used to quantitatively separate the impact of climate change from that of LULCC on the streamflow in the WRW. Our results show that climate change generated a dominant effect on the streamflow and decreased it by 72.4% in the WRW. This climatic effect can be further explained with the drying trend of the Palmer Severity Drought Index, which was calculated based only on climate change information for the WRW. In the meantime, although human activities in this watershed have been very intense, especially since 1999, vegetation cover increase contributed a 27.6% decline to the streamflow, which played a secondary role in affecting hydrological processes in the WRW.

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