Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 120, Issue 3–4, pp 563–573 | Cite as

The impact of climate changes on rivers discharge in Eastern Romania

  • Adina-Eliza Croitoru
  • Ionuț MineaEmail author
Original Paper


Climate changes imply many changes in different socioeconomic and environmental fields. Among the most important impacts are changes in water resources. Long- and mid-term river discharge flow analysis is essential for the effective management of water resources. In this work, the changes in temperature, precipitation, and river discharges as well as the connections between precipitation and river discharges were investigated. Seasonal and annual climatic and hydrological data collected at 6 weather stations and 17 hydrological stations were employed. The data sets cover 57 years (1950–2006). The modified Mann–Kendall test and Sen’s slope were used to calculate trends and their slopes, whereas the Bravais–Pearson correlation index was chosen to detect the connections between precipitation and river discharge data series. The main findings are as follows: a general increase was identified in all the three variables; the air temperature data series showed the highest frequency of statistically significant slopes, mainly in annual and spring series; all data series, except the series for winter, showed an increase in precipitation, and in winter, a significant decrease in precipitation was observed at most of the stations. The increase in precipitation is reflected in the upward trends of the river discharge flows, as verified by the good Bravais–Pearson correlations, mainly for annual, summer, and autumn series.


Streamflow Romania River Discharge Rain Rate Discharge Flow 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors acknowledge the climatic and hydrological data provided by the European Climate Assessment & Dataset project (Klein Tank et al. 2002), Moldova Regional Meteorological Center, and Prut-Birlad Basins Branch of Romanian Waters Administration. This paper was conducted under the “Climate change and their impact on environment and society” research project developed in Babeş-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, and implemented by the Climate Research Group. Special acknowledgements are for the two anonymous reviewers whose constructive suggestions helped us to improve the quality of this paper.


  1. Badea L, Gâştescu P, Velcea VA et al. (1983) Geography of Romania vol. 1. Physical Geography (in Romanian). Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste, BucharestGoogle Scholar
  2. Bai P, Liu W, Guo M (2013) Impacts of climate variability and human activities on decrease in streamflow in the Qinhe River, China. Theor Appl Climatol. doi: 10.1007/s00704-013-1009-7 Google Scholar
  3. Bernhofer C, Goldberg V, Franke J (2003) REKLI – Aufbau einer Klimadatenbank und Regionale Klimadiagnose für Thüringen, Abschlussbericht zum Forschungsvorhaben der Thüringer Landesanstalt für Umwelt und. Geologie, DresdenGoogle Scholar
  4. Bîrsan M, Zaharia L, Chendeş V, Brănescu E (2012) Recent trends in atreamflow in Romania (1976–2005). Romanian Rep Phys 64(1):275–280Google Scholar
  5. Busuioc A, Caian M, Cheval S, Bojariu R, Boroneant C, Baciu M, Dumitrescu A (2010) Variability and change in the climate of Romania (in Romanian). Pro Universitaria, BucharestGoogle Scholar
  6. Croitoru AE, Holobaca IH, Lazar C, Moldovan F, Imbroane A (2012) Air temperature trend and the impact on winter wheat phenology in Romania. Clim Chang 111(2):393–410. doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0133-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Croitoru AE, Piticar A, Dragotă CS, Burada DC (2013) Recent changes in reference evapotranspiration in Romania. Global Planet Change 111(December):127–137. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2013.09.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ćurić M, Janc D (2011a) Comparison of modeled and observed accumulated convective precipitation in mountainous and flat land areas. J Hydrometeorol 12:245–261. doi: 10.1175/2010JHM1259.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ćurić M, Janc D (2011b) Analysis of predicted and observed accumulated convective precipitation in the area with frequent split storms. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 15:3651–3658. doi: 10.5194/hess-15-3651-2011, CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Danneberg J (2012) Changes in runoff time series in Thuringia, Germany—Mann-Kendall trend test and extreme value analysis. Adv Geosci 31:49–56. doi: 10.5194/adgeo-31-49-2012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fărcaș I (1988) Boundary layer climatology (in Romanian). Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-NapocaGoogle Scholar
  12. Hamed KH, Rao AR (1998) A modified Mann-Kendall trend test for autocorrelated data. J Hydrol 204:182–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hirsch RM (1988) Statistical methods and sampling design for estimating step trends in surface-water quality. J Am Water Res Assoc 24:493–503. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.1988.tb00899.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Karpouzos DK, Baltas EA, Kavalieratou S, Babajimopoulos C (2011) A hydrological investigation using a lumped water balance model: the Aison River Basin case (Greece). Water Environ J 25(3):297–307. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-6593.2010.00222.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kendall MG (1975) Rank correlation methods. Griffin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Klavins M, Briede A, Rodinov V, Kokorite I, Frisk T (2002) Long-term changes of the river run-off in Latvia. Boreal Environ Research: 447-456Google Scholar
  17. Klein Tank AMG, Wijngaard JB, Konnen GP et al (2002) Daily dataset of 20th century surface air temperature and precipitation series for the European climate assessment. Int J Climatol 22:1441–1453. doi: 10.1002/joc.773 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lettenmaier DP, Wood EF, Wallis JR (1994) Hydro-climatological trends in the continental United States, 1948-88. J Clim: 7586-7607. doi:  10.1175/1520-0442(1994)007<0586:HCTITC>2.0.CO;2
  19. Li B, Su H, Chen F, Li H, Zhang R, Tian J, Chen S, Yang Y, Rong Y (2013) Separation of the impact of climate change and human activity on streamflow in the upper and middle reaches of the Taoer River, northeastern China. Theor Appl Climatol. doi: 10.1007/s00704-013-1032-8 Google Scholar
  20. Mann HB (1945) Nonparametric tests against trend. Econometrica 13:245–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McCabe GJ Jr, Wolock DM (1997) Climate change and the detection of trends in annual runoff. Clim Res 8:129–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Meals DW, Spooner J, Dressing SA, Harcum JB (2011) Statistical analysis for monotonic trends, Tech Notes 6, November 2011. Developed for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by Tetra Tech, Inc., Fairfax, VA, 23 p. Available online at
  23. Minea I (2012) Bahlui hydrographic basin. Hydrological study (in Romanian). Al.I.Cuza University Press, IasiGoogle Scholar
  24. Nijssen B, O’Donnell G, Hamlet AF, Lettenmaier DP (2001) Hydrologic sensitivity of global rivers to climate change. Clim Change 50:143–175. doi: 10.1023/A:1010616428763 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ogouwale R, Donou B, Houssou C, Boko M (2010) Vulnerabilité des établissements humains aux événements pluviométriques extrèmes dans le bassin de l’Oueme à Bonou (Benin). Geographia Technica 1:47–58Google Scholar
  26. Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP Co-authors (2007) Technical summary. Climate change: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, edited by: Parry ML, Canziani OF, Palutikof JP, van der Linden PJ, Hanson CE, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK: 23–78Google Scholar
  27. Radinović D, Ćurić M (2012) Some evidence on European monsoon existence. Theor Appl Climatol 110(1–2):11–15. doi: 10.1007/s00704-012-0609-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sang Y-F, Wang Z, Liu C, Yu J (2014) The impact of changing environments on the runoff regimes of the arid Heihe River basin, China. Theor Appl Climatol 115(1–2):187–195. doi: 10.1007/s00704-013-0888-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Stângă IC (2012) Tutova hydrographic basin. Natural hazards and vulnerability of the area (in Romanian). “Al.I.Cuza” Univ. Press, IaşiGoogle Scholar
  30. Tabari H, Hosseinzadeh Talaee P (2011) Analysis of trends in temperature data in arid and semi-arid regions of Iran. Glob Planet Chang 79(1–2):1–10. doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2011.07.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Türkeş M, Sümer UM (2004) Spatial and temporal patterns of trends and variability in diurnal temperature ranges of Turkey. Theor Appl Climatol 77(3–4):195–227. doi: 10.1007/s00704-003-0024-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. van Pelt SC, Swart RJ (2011) Climate change risk management in transnational river basins: the Rhine. Water Res Manag 25:3837–3861. doi: 10.1007/s11269-011-9891-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vehvilainen B, Lohvansuu J (1991) The effects of climate change on discharges and snow cover in Finland. J Hydrol Sci 36:109–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wen G, Huang G, Hu K, Qu X, Tao W, Gong H (2014) Changes in the characteristics of precipitation over northern Eurasia. Theor Appl Climatol. doi: 10.1007/s00704-014-1137-8 Google Scholar
  35. Ye B, Yang D, Kane DL (2003) Changes in Lena River streamflow hydrology: human impacts versus natural variations. Water Resour Res 39(7):1200. doi: 10.1029/2003WR001991 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zaharia L, Beltrando G (2009) Variabilité et tendances de la pluviométrie et des débits de crue dans la région de la Courbure de l’Arc carpatique (Roumanie). Geographia Technica (numero special): 471 – 476Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Geography, Department of Physical and Technical GeographyBabeş-Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania
  2. 2.Faculty of Geography and Geology, Department of GeographyAlexandru Ioan Cuza UniversityIasiRomania

Personalised recommendations