To fully understand potential changes in hydrological regime over the Lhasa River Basin (LRB) and the upstream of Niyang River Basin (UNRB) in Tibetan Plateau under global warming, the VIC-glacier model was employed to analyze the responses of rainfall runoff and melt water to recent climate change, and we also quantify their roles in controlling the trend of river streamflow during 1963–2012. The hydrological model was calibrated using the observed streamflow, glacier mass balance, and MODIS snow cover. The simulations indicate that there is a significant increasing trend in glacier runoff for both basins during 1963–2012, especially in the period of 2000s when it exhibits a large increment up to about 45% relative to baseline period. Rainfall runoff suggests a rising tendency whereas snowmelt runoff displays a general decreasing tendency. For both basins, increasing rainfall runoff was identified as the dominant driver for the upward trend in total runoff during 1963–2012. The role of glacier runoff in controlling the trend of total runoff is also obvious, especially in the more glaciated UNRB where increased glacier runoff accounts for up to 41% of the tendency in river discharge. Snowmelt runoff plays a minor role in affecting the trend of total runoff.
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