Climate Change Impacts on Runoff Regimes at a River Basin Scale in Central Vietnam

Abstract

Global warming has resulted in significant variability of global climate especially with regard to variation in temperature and precipitation. As a result, it is expected that river flow regimes will be accordingly varied. This study presents a preliminary projection of medium-term and long-term runoff variation caused by climate change at a river basin scale. The large scale precipitation projection at the middle and the end of the 21st century under the A1B scenario simulated by the CGCM model (MRI & JMA, 300 km resolution) is statistically downscaled to a basin scale and then used as input for the super-tank model for runoff analysis at the upper Thu Bon River basin in Central Vietnam. Results show that by the middle and the end of this century annual rainfall will increase slightly; together with a rising temperature, potential evapotranspiration is also projected to increase as well. The total annual runoff, as a result, is found to be not distinctly varied relative to the baseline period 1981 - 2000; however, the runoff will decrease in the dry season and increase in the rainy season. The results also indicate the delay tendency of the high river flow period, shifting from Sep-Dec at present to Oct-Jan in the future. The present study demonstrates potential impacts of climate change on streamflow regimes in attempts to propose appropriate adaptation measures and responses at the river basin scales.

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