Potential impacts of climate change on rainfall erosivity and water availability in China in the next 100 years
Soil erosion and water shortages threaten China’s social and economic development in the 21st century. This paper examines how projected climate change could affect soil erosion and water availability across China. We used both historical climate data (1961-1980) and the UKMO Hadley3 climate scenario (1960-2099) to drive regional hydrology and soil erosivity models. The GCM predicts that eastern, and central China will experience a hotter and drier climate in the next 30 years. Available water could decrease by 20%. Rainfall erosivity is expected to increase significantly in northeastern and southeastern China. During 2061- 2099, both air temperature and precipitation are expected to increase greatly across China. Consequently, rainfall erosivity for the soil erosion prone regions, the Yellow and Yangtze river basins and northeastern China, are expected to increase significantly. Soil erosion control will continue to be a challenge for these regions in the 21st century. Although more water will become available for most of China during the second half of this century, northern China is expected to experience more water stress due to large increases in temperature.