The net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of drainage basins plays an important role in maintaining the carbon balance of those ecosystems. In this study, the modified CASA (Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) model and a soil microbial respiration model were used to estimate net primary productivity (NPP) and NEP of the Yellow River Basin’s (YRB) vegetation in the terrestrial ecosystem (excluding rivers, floodplain lakes and other freshwater ecosystems) from 1982 to 2015. After analyzing the spatiotemporal variations in the NEP using slope analysis, the coefficient of variation, and the Hurst exponent, precipitation was identified as the main factor limiting vegetation growth in the YRB. Hence, precipitation was treated as the control variable and a second-order partial correlation method was used to determine the correlation between diurnal asymmetric warming and the YRB’s NEP. The results indicate that: (i) diurnal asymmetric warming occurred in the YRB from 1982 to 2015, with nighttime warming (Tmin) being 1.50 times that of daytime warming (Tmax). There is a significant correlation between variations in NPP and diurnal warming; (ii) the YRB’s NEP are characterized by upward fluctuations in terms of temporal variations, large differences between the various vegetation types, high values in the western and southeastern regions but low values in the northern region in terms of spatial distribution, overall relative stability in the YRB’s vegetation cover, and changes in the same direction being more dominant than those in the opposite direction (although the former is not sustained); and (iii) positive correlations between the NEP and nighttime and daytime warming are approximately 48.37% and 67.51% for the YRB, respectively, with variations in nighttime temperatures having more extensive impacts on vegetation cover.