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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-744
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-744
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 22 Feb 2018

Research article | 22 Feb 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Climate-induced hydrologic change in the source region of the Yellow River: a new assessment including varying permafrost

Pan Wu, Sihai Liang, Xu-Sheng Wang, Yuqing Feng, and Jeffrey M. McKenzie Pan Wu et al.
  • School of Water Resources and Environment, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing, 100083, P. R. China

Abstract. The source region of the Yellow River (SRYR) provides 35% of the rivers annual discharge but is very sensitive to the climate change. The change in discharge from the SRYR has been attributed to both climatic and anthropogenic forces, and previous estimates of the impact of human activities on the change in discharge have been higher than 50% of the total change. Considering the very low population density and limited land use change, this result is potentially inconsistent. Our study modifies the traditional Budyko separating approach to identify and quantify the climatic causes in discharge changes. Application of this new approach to the SRYR now highlights the role of the degrading permafrost, based on long-term observation data of the maximum frozen depth (MFD). Our results show that over the past half-century, the change in discharge in the SRYR was primarily controlled by climate change rather than local human activities. Increasing air temperature is generally a negative force on discharge whereas it also causes permafrost to degrade – a positive factor on discharge generation. Such conflicting effects enhance the uncertainty in assessments of the hydrological response to climate change in the SRYR.

Pan Wu et al.
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AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Pan Wu et al.
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This study provides a new assessment of climate change impacts on discharge change in the source region of the Yellow River in considering vary perrmafrost.
This study provides a new assessment of climate change impacts on discharge change in the source...
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