Articles | Volume 369
11 Jun 2015
 | 11 Jun 2015

Projecting future climate change effects on the extreme hydrological drought events in the Weihe River basin, China

F. Yuan, Y. Y. San, Y. Li, M. Ma, L. Ren, C. Zhao, Y. Liu, X. Yang, S. Jiang, and H. Shen

Abstract. In this study, a framework to project the potential future climate change impacts on extreme hydrological drought events in the Weihe River basin in North China is presented. This framework includes a large-scale hydrological model driven by climate outputs from a regional climate model for historical streamflow simulations and future streamflow projections, and models for univariate drought assessment and copula-based bivariate drought analysis. It is projected by the univariate drought analysis that future climate change would lead to increased frequencies of extreme hydrological drought events with higher severity. The bivariate drought assessment using copula shows that future droughts in the same return periods as historical droughts would be potentially longer and more severe, in terms of drought duration and severity. This trend would deteriorate the hydrological drought situation in the Weihe River basin. In addition, the uncertainties associated with climate models, hydrological models, and univariate and bivariate drought analysis should be quantified in the future research to improve the reliability of this study.