Mountains are water towers of our world, but their role in global water resources may be altered due to changing climate. This book provides an integrated assessment of the spatial and temporal variability of both recent and future climate change impacts in the Yellow River source region (YRSR) with specific focus on extremes. The book is structured across four different topics from detecting contemporary hydro-climatic changes, comparing three different statistical downscaling methods, assessing elevation dependency of expected changes in temperature, and projecting future climate-induced hydrologic changes in the YRSR. The detection of historical hydro-climatic changes in recent decades indicates that climate change may already be happening and may pose a serious threat to water availability in this region. However, an ensemble of climate change projections for the periods 2046-2065 and 2081-2100 based on two GCMs and three emission scenarios demonstrates that the future water availability of this region would increase due to climate change. This discrepancy suggests that contemporary hydro-climatic experience based on past records alone may not always provide a reliable guide to the future. This study makes an important contribution toward an improved understanding of climate change impacts in the YRSR. The knowledge generated has major implications for water resources management in the Yellow River and will be instructive for climate change impacts studies in other mountain areas.
Summary Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. Study area and data sets 3. Trends in temperature and rainfall extremes in the YRSR 4. Streamflow trends and climate linkages in the YRSR 5. Downscaling daily precipitation over the YRSR: a comparison of three statistical downscaling methods 6. Expected changes in future temperature extremes and their elevation dependency over the YRSR 7. Impacts of climate change on the hydrology of the YRSR
Yurong Hu (1974, China) obtained her BSc degree in Hydrology and Water Resources in 1996 from Hohai University, China. From October 2005 to April 2007 she studied MSc in Hydrology and Water Resources at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands. She has extensive experience in hydrology, water resources and river basin management. Since June 1996 she has been working as a water resources manager at the Yellow River Conservancy Commission (YRCC), China, and is responsible for a number of projects regarding water policy, water price, water license, water allocation and regulation, water resources planning and water use assessment in the Yellow River. In 2009, she was enrolled for the PhD study at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education. Her PhD research focused on the impacts of climate change on hydrology and water resources in the Yellow River source region in China. Her key areas of expertise and interest are integrated water resources management, statistical hydrology, process-based distributed hydrological modeling, statistical downscaling, and climate change impacts and adaptation at a river basin scale. She has co-authored a number of scientifically important and practically relevant papers and has presented her research at various national and international workshops and conferences. Yurong is a frequent reviewer of manuscripts submitted to international scientific journals, including, for example, International Journal of Climatology and Hydrology and Earth System Science. She is currently working for YRCC as a senior engineer in water resources management. She is married to Wang Lunshun and they have a son Wang Dinghan.