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The impact of climate changes on rivers discharge in Eastern Romania

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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.

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Correspondence to Ionuț Minea.

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Croitoru, AE., Minea, I. The impact of climate changes on rivers discharge in Eastern Romania. Theor Appl Climatol 120, 563–573 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-014-1194-z

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Keywords

  • Streamflow
  • Romania
  • River Discharge
  • Rain Rate
  • Discharge Flow