Global climate change and rapid industrial development have led to changes in streamflow worldwide, and determining the relative contributions from climate variability and human activity is important for water management. However, studies using attribution analysis to investigate the streamflow in Taiwan are scarce. In this study, statistical methods are used to evaluate the changes in streamflow in order to assess the variation in the hydrological environment of Taiwan. Four river basins in Southern Taiwan were selected as the study area. The impact of climate variability and human activities on the changes in the streamflow from 1980 to 2017 was quantified via the hydrological sensitivity-based method and the decomposition method, which is based on the Budyko hypothesis. The results from these two methods were consistent and demonstrated that the increase in the streamflow of the four river basins was mainly attributable to climate variability. Streamflow change was more responsive to precipitation because of the relatively larger value of the sensitivity coeffcients. This study provides a basic insight into the hydrological dynamics of river basins in Southern Taiwan and may serve as a reference for related research in the future.
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