Expected changes in future temperature extremes and their elevation dependency over the Yellow River source region
Using the Statistical DownScaling Model (SDSM) and the outputs from two global climate models, we investigate possible changes in mean and extreme temperature indices and their elevation dependency over the Yellow River source region for the two future periods 2046–2065 and 2081–2100 under the IPCC SRES A2, A1B and B1 emission scenarios. Changes in interannual variability of mean and extreme temperature indices are also analyzed. The validation results show that SDSM performs better in reproducing the maximum temperature-related indices than the minimum temperature-related indices. The projections show that by the middle and end of the 21st century all parts of the study region may experience increases in both mean and extreme temperature in all seasons, along with an increase in the frequency of hot days and warm nights and with a decrease in frost days. By the end of the 21st century, interannual variability increases in all seasons for the frequency of hot days and warm nights and in spring for frost days while it decreases for frost days in summer. Autumn demonstrates pronounced elevation-dependent changes in which around six out of eight indices show significant increasing changes with elevation.