Hydrological responses to climate change in Yarlung Zangbo River basin, Southwest China

Weidong Xuan, Yue Ping Xu*, Qiang Fu, Martijn J. Booij, Xujie Zhang, Suli Pan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
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Climate change is affecting the hydrological regime over the Tibetan Plateau. The impact of climate change on the hydrology of the Yarlung Zangbo River is investigated in this study. Different runoff components are obtained by combining a new batch-processing module which will automatically execute hydrological simulations and an uncertainty analysis method in combination with the semi-distributed hydrological model SWAT, and the uncertainty in total runoff and its components is analyzed. Through using five Global Climate Models (GCMs) under two Representative Concentration Pathways, responses of the different runoff components at three gauging stations to climate change are analyzed. Results show that in the period 2069–2099, the total runoff at Nugesha and Nuxia stations will possibly decrease (with >60% probability) while at Yangcun station increases are very likely (with >80% probability). Groundwater runoff will probably decrease in the future and rainfall-induced runoff may take the dominant place due to increase in its amount. Snowmelt induced runoff will increase under climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125761
JournalJournal of hydrology
Early online date18 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Batch-processing module
  • Climate change
  • Runoff components
  • Yarlung Zangbo River
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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