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Climate Change and Its Impacts on the Source Regions of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers

Author(s): Y. S. Rong; L. Y. Bai; W. Wang

Linked Author(s): Weihao Wang

Keywords: Climate change; Temperature; Precipitation; Yangtze River; Yellow River

Abstract: The two source regions border of both the Yangtze River (YTS) and the Yellow Rivers (YLS) and originate from the center of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The YLS and YTS hold the reserve of water resources by 38%and 8%for their basins, respectively. As the climate changes in the regions, the effects would be spread quickly in their river basins by means of water and energy cycles. It is important to investigate the climate changes of the regions and to estimate these effects on the environment. In this paper, the spatial and temporal characteristics, and linear time trends of temperature and precipitation were analyzed, and the snow volume and thickness, the number and area of lakes were evaluated on the basis of the data for the period from 1961–2010, including daily maximum and minimum temperature, surface ground temperature, precipitation, snow, and number and area of lakes in the YTS and the YLS. The results were summarized as follows: (1) The mean maximum and minimum temperatures showed increasing trends in both source regions, and the increment in the YTS was larger than that in the YLS. (2) The mean surface ground temperatures showed the warming trends in either the YTS or the YLS. (3) Although the annual precipitation of the YTS was less than that of YLS, the increasing trend in the YTS was larger than that in the YLS. (4) The snow volume and thickness rose in recent 10years with precipitation increasing, and snow and glacier thawed with surface ground temperature rising so that the number and area of lakes increased. In summary, the climate warming and precipitation increasing result in the increase of the water resources and the improvement of the ecological environment in those source regions.


Year: 2014

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