PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2022, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (7): 1226-1238.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2022.07.007

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Attribution analysis of centennial scale changes of runoff in the Yellow River Basin over the past millennium based on BCC-CSM1-1 simulation

WANG Minxia1,2(), ZHANG Xuezhen1,3,*(), JING Wenlong4   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. School of Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. Guangzhou Institute of Geography, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510070, China
  • Received:2021-12-23 Revised:2022-03-12 Online:2022-07-28 Published:2022-09-28
  • Contact: ZHANG Xuezhen;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41790424)


As the hydrological cycle changes intensify with climate warming, the relationship between runoff and climate change has become a hot topic of research. This study simulated runoff changes between the three distinct climate stages during the last millennium—that is, Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), Little Ice Age (LIA), and Modern Warm Period (MWP)—in the upper and middle reaches of the Yellow River using the BCC-CSM1-1 simulation dataset and carried out an attribution analysis with the Budyko Hypothesis and Fu's Formula. The results showed that: 1) At the upper reaches of the Yellow River, there was higher runoff in the MWP and lower runoff in the LIA, and the phase of runoff change was the same as temperature anomaly. However, at the middle reaches of the Yellow River, there was higher runoff in the LIA when it was the coldest while lower runoff in the MCA and MWP when it was warmer. 2) The sensitivity of runoff to various factors showed a geographical difference and was affected by the shift of warm-cold conditions between different climate stages. The elasticity coefficients (absolute value) of runoff to precipitation and potential evaporation in the middle reaches were greater than in the upper reaches, and they were slightly larger during the cold to warm transitional period than in the warm to cold transitional period. Meanwhile, the elasticity coefficient (absolute value) of runoff to land surface changes in the upper and middle reaches during the continuous warming period was significantly greater than in the warm-to-cold and cold-to-warm transitional periods. 3) The runoff discrepancy during the three distinct climate stages was mainly dominated by precipitation, with little influence from land surface change. But there were regional differences in the role of potential evaporation. The effect of potential evaporation in the upper reaches partially offsets the contribution of precipitation to the runoff changes while the potential evaporation in the middle reaches strengthens the runoff changes caused by precipitation.

Key words: BCC-CSM1-1, the past millennium, runoff, centennial scale, Yellow River