Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting China.

Impacts Water

Declines in water runoff have been measured across north and central China, these relate primarily to human development impacts, but in many cases also to climate. China’s Second National Communication to the UNFCCC (2012) states around 30-40% of the reduction in runoff in the Yellow River can be attributed to climate change. Climate change is expected to further reduce river water levels across much of China with the exception of the southeastern region. Contributing factors to the changes ongoing in China’s water resource profile are the retreat of its glaciers and reductions in its snow cover. Around 82% of China’s glaciers are estimated to be in retreat and climate model ensemble projections suggest the mountain ranges feeding China’s major rivers will lose 20-90% of their mass. It is likely that these changes will further increase the variability and unpredictability of China’s water supply.

This section allows you to gain insights into climate change impacts on hydrological statistics based on climate future scenarios.


Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals. 

This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.