Climate change is now a major environmental and developmental issue, and one that will increase the challenge of sustainable water resources management. In order to assess the implications of climate change on water resources in China, a Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model with a resolution of 50x50 km (squared) was calibrated using data from 125 well gauged catchments.
According to similarities in climate conditions,soil texture and other variables, model parameters were transferred to other areas not covered by the calibrated catchments. Taking runoff in the period 1961 - 1990 as a baseline, the impact of climate change on runoff under three emissions scenarios of A2, B2 and A1B was studied.
Model findings indicate that annual runoff over Chinas a whole will probably increase by approximately 3 - 10% by 2050, but with quite uneven spatial and temporal distribution. The prevailing pattern of “north dry and south wet” in China is likely to be exacerbated under global warming.