Agro-meteorological disasters (AMD) have become more frequent with climate warming. In this study, the temporal and spatial changes in the occurrence frequency of major meteorological disasters on wheat production were firstly explored by analyzing the observed records at national agro-meteorological stations (AMS) of China from 1991 to 2009. Furthermore, impact of climate change on AMD was discussed by comparing the warmer decade (2000-2009) with another decade (1991-2000). It was found that drought was the most frequent disaster during the last two decades, with a highest proportion of 79%. And the frequency of AMD increased significantly with climate change. Specifically, the main disasters occurred more frequently in the reproductive period than in the vegetative period. Besides, the spatial changes in the AMD frequency were characterized by region-specific. For example, the wheat cultivation areas located on the Loess Plateau and the middle-lower reaches of the Yellow River suffered mainly from drought. All these results were strongly linked to climate change in China. Therefore, sound adaptation options should be taken based on the latest changes of AMD under global warming to reduce agricultural damages.
Understanding crop patterns and their changes on regional scale is a critical requirement for projecting agro-ecosystem dynamics. However, tools and methods for mapping the distribution of crop area and yield are still lacking. Based on the cross-entropy theory, a spatial production allocation model (SPAM) has been developed for presenting spatio-temporal dynamics of maize cropping system in Northeast China during 1980-2010. The simulated results indicated that (1) maize sown area expanded northwards to 48°N before 2000, after that the increased sown area mainly occurred in the central and southern parts of Northeast China. Meanwhile, maize also expanded eastwards to 127°E and lower elevation (less than 100 m) as well as higher elevation (mainly distributed between 200 m and 350 m); (2) maize yield has been greatly promoted for most planted area of Northeast China, especially in the planted zone between 42°N and 48°N, while the yield increase was relatively homogeneous without obvious longitudinal variations for whole region; (3) maize planting density increased gradually to a moderately high level over the investigated period, which reflected the trend of aggregation of maize cultivation driven by market demand.
Snow disaster is one of the top ten natural disasters worldwide, and the most severe natural disaster to affect the pastoral areas of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Based on the hazard harmfulness data collected from historical records and data collected from entities affected by this hazard in 2010, a comprehensive analysis of the 18 indexes of snow disaster on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau was conducted, encompassing the hazard harmfulness, the amount of physical exposure the hazard-bearing entities face, the sensitivity to the hazard, and the capacity to respond to the disaster. The analysis indicates that: (1) areas at high-risk of snow disaster on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are located in certain areas of the counties of Yecheng and Pishan in the Xinjiang region; (2) areas at medium-risk of snow disaster are found between the Gangdise Mountains and the Himalayas in the central-western part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and the southeastern part of the southern Qinghai Plateau; (3) the risk of snow disaster is generally low throughout the large area to the south of 30°N and the region on the border of the eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Overall, the risk of snow disaster in high-altitude areas of the central Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is higher than that at the edge of the plateau.
The catchment of South Luohe River in Central China is an important region for investigating modern pollen-environment relationship, because it is located in the transitional zone between south and north China, an environment which is sensitive to climate changes. In this study, 40 surface samples under ten vegetation types were collected to reveal the relationship between pollen assemblages and vegetation. The results show that the surface pollen assemblages reflect the vegetation quite well. In forest topsoils, the average of arboreal pollen content is greater than 40%, and the Selaginella sinensis spore is high. As to sparse forest grassland and shrub community, the average arboreal pollen is 13.2% and 16.6% respectively, and the shrub pollen is relatively higher than that of grassland samples. The grassland and farmland are characterized by low percentage of tree and shrub pollen (<10% and <1%), and high percentage of herbs (>80%). Pinus, Quercus and some other arboreal pollen can indicate the regional vegetation because of their dispersal ability. Quercus pollen is under-representative and so is Pinus. Artemisia pollen is significantly over-represented, has poor correlation with the plant coverage, and may reflect human disturbance. Gramineae can indicate plant quite well, but with low representation. High content of Chenopodiaceae probably suggests human impact. Predominant Selaginella sinensis can be used as an indicator of forest environment. Cluster analysis and principal components analysis of pollen assemblages can distinguish forest and non-forest vegetation well. The former method is better at separating pine and mixed forests, while the latter is more stable and could better differentiate farmland and other non-forest area. The first axis of PCA mainly reflects the humidity.
Palaeoflood hydrology study is a leading subject in global change study. Through field investigation in the upper reaches of Hanjiang River, palaeoflood slackwater deposits (SWD) were found in the bedrock gorges of the Yunxi reach. The results of field observation, laboratory analysis including particle-size distribution and magnetic susceptibility, and comparison with modern flood deposits, the SWD were identified as the most typical Holocene palaeoflood deposits of the Hanjiang River. By using stratigraphic correlation and OSL dating method, the palaeoflood event was dated to be 3200-2800 a BP at the turn from the middle to late Holocene. According to the palaeoflood peak stage and hydraulic parameters, the peak discharges of the palaeoflood were reconstructed as 48,830-51,710 m3/s by using the slope-area method. At same time, the flood peak discharges of 1983, 2005 and 2010 severe floods were reconstructed with the same method and hydraulic parameters in the same cross section. The error between the reconstructed and gauged discharges was 1.99%-4.21%. This showed that the reconstructed palaeoflood peak discharges were reliable. The flood peak discharge-frequency relationship at 10,000-year time scale was established by a combination of the gauged flood, historical flood and palaeoflood hydrological data. These results are very important for hydraulic engineering and flood mitigation on the Hanjiang River.
This study addresses the morphometric variables that determine the sediment yield in Wadi Al-Arja through the analysis of the impact of different morphometric characteristics along the course of the valley on its sediment yield, as well as the analysis of spatial and formal dimensions and morphologies of the basin and its relationship to the sediment yield. The study also addresses the size of variation in the volume of sediment yield of the river tributaries that make up the water network of the valley under the differences of its morphometric and hydrological characteristics. The study found several results, most notably: The classification of Wadi Al-Arja basin according to the hypsometric integral value (72.1%) within an uneven topography, which increases the force of the erosive activity and the size of the sediment yield if the basin was exposed to moist climatic periods. The study also showed the presence of convergence in the intra-spaces between the river tributaries in the water network. This increases the volume of water flows when these tributaries meet with each other and thus increasing their erosive ability and sediment yield.The study also showed the presence of marked variation in the sediment yield of the river tributaries depending on the differences in its morphometric characteristics. The results of the step-wise regression analysis confirmed the importance of the morphometric and hydrological variables, and plant coverage in interpreting the variation in the size of the sediment yield of the river tributaries of different stream order in Wadi Al-Arja basin, where these variables interpreted 43% of the total variation, with statistical significance less than 0.05.
The water quality in the surface microlayer (SML) and subsurface water (SSW) in the Guangzhou segment of Pearl River, a eutrophic urban river section in China, were analyzed. The spatial and temporal dynamics of nutrient concentrations, heavy metals and bacteria were examined from two sampling sites in monthly samples throughout 2010. The mean concentrations of total nitrogen, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite were higher than 7.0 mg/L, 3.1 mg/L, 1.1 mg/L and 0.3 mg/L, while total phosphorus and orthophosphate were 0.5 mg/L and 0.1 mg/L, respectively. These results indicated that the water quality was rich in minerals and eutrophic. The mean concentrations of Mn and Fe were higher than 0.013 mg/L; and Ni, Cr and Pb were higher than 0.001 mg/L. The mean concentrations were in the order of Mn >Fe > Ni > Pb > Cr. The concentrations of heavy metals in the Guangzhou segment were lower than the limit of the surface water quality standards in China and the World Health Organization (WHO), but higher than the median values in the world’s freshwater. The density of bacteria ranged from 3.30×105 to 5.23×106 cells/mL, and the amount of cultivable heterotrophic bacteria ranged from 1.30×103 to 1.89×106 cfu/mL. Fecal coliform levels were beyond the V class of China water quality standard. The SML was enriched in nutrients, heavy metals and bacteria, with the maximum enrichment factor of 3.84 for nutrients, 8.00 for heavy metals, and 3.04 for bacteria, suggesting that the water quality of the SML of the Guangzhou segment of the Pearl River was more serious than in the SSW.
According to the connotation and structure of science and technology resources and some relevant data of more than 286 cities at prefecture level and above during 2001-2010, using modified method—Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), science and technology (S&T) resource allocation efficiency of different cities in different periods has been figured out, which, uncovers the distributional difference and change law of S&T resource allocation efficiency from the time-space dimension. Based on that, this paper has analyzed and discussed the spatial distribution pattern and evolution trend of S&T resource allocation efficiency in different cities by virtue of the Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA). It turned out that: (1) the average of S&T resource allocation efficiency in cities at prefecture level and above has always stayed at low levels, moreover, with repeated fluctuations between high and low, which shows a decreasing trend year by year. Besides, the gap between the East and the West is widening. (2) The asymmetrical distribution of S&T resource allocation efficiency presents a spatial pattern of successively decreasing from Eastern China, Central China to Western China. The cities whose S&T resource allocation efficiency are at higher level and high level take on a cluster distribution, which fits well with the 23 forming urban agglomerations in China. (3) The coupling degree between S&T resource allocation efficiency and economic environment assumes a certain positive correlation, but not completely the same. The differentiation of S&T resource allocation efficiency is common in regional development, whose existence and evolution are directly or indirectly influenced by and regarded as the reflection of many elements, such as geographical location, the natural endowment and environment of S&T resources and so on. (4) In the perspective of the evolution of spatial structure, S&T resource allocation efficiency of the cities at prefecture level and above shows a notable spatial autocorrelation, which in every period presents a positive correlation. The spatial distribution of S&T resource allocation efficiency in neighboring cities seems to be similar in group, which tends to escalate stepwise. Meanwhile, the whole differentiation of geographical space has a diminishing tendency. (5) Viewed from LISA agglomeration map of S&T resource allocation efficiency in different periods, four agglomeration types have changed differently in spatial location and the range of spatial agglomeration. And the continuity of S&T resource allocation efficiency in geographical space is gradually increasing.
This paper examines the spatial pattern of land and water resources as well as urbanization and their interactions in the Tarim River Basin, Xinjiang, China. In order to do so, we extract the data associated with efficiency of land and water resources and urbanization for the years of 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2008. Specifically the paper investigates the extent to which agglomeration of population and economic activities varies geographically and interplays with spatial pattern of resources efficiency through computation of Global Moran's I index, Getis-Ord Gi* index and a coordinated development model. The method used provides clear evidence that urbanization, land and water resources efficiency have shown uneven spatial pattern due to oasis distribution, climate, and initial phase of urban development. Some conclusions can be drawn as follows. (1) Agglomeration and dispersion of urbanization are not consistent with those of land and water resources efficiency. (2) Evolution of the hot and cold spots of urbanization, and land and water resources efficiency, in different trajectories, indicate that there are no significant interactions between them. (3) The evidence that numbers of hot and cold spots of the three factors present varying structures reveals the dominance of unequal urban development in the study area. (4) Significant differences are also found between sub-river basins in terms of the three factors, which is a reflection of the complex physical geography of the area. (5) The degree of coordinated development of cities in the Tarim River Basin is generally low in part as a reflection of difference in spatial patterns of the three factors. It is also shown that the pattern of the degree of coordinated development is relatively stable compared with evolution of hot and cold spots of the three factors.
This study presents an analysis of the spatial-temporal distribution of 230 archaeological sites in Guizhou Province, Southwest China for three selected time periods from the Paleolithic Age to the Shang-Zhou Dynasties. The relationship between archaeological sites distribution and environmental changes is also discussed based on paleo-environmental proxies of δ18O and δ13C recorded in stalagmites from Southwest China. The results show that: in the Paleolithic Age (260-10 ka BP), archaeological sites were concentrated in the central, northwestern and southwestern parts of Guizhou, where the high-altitudinal karst landforms with many natural caves suitable for human habitation are developed. In the Neolithic Age (10-3.6 ka BP), most of human settlements were concentrated in the central, northwestern and southwestern parts, while, a fewer sites were found on river terraces in the southern and eastern parts, and the intermontane basins in the central and western Guizhou. During the Shang-Zhou Dynasties (3.6-2.2 ka BP), the sites were mainly distributed in the intermontane basins and on river terraces, which were suitable for primitive aerial farming. The analysis of paleo-environmental proxies of δ18O and δ13C since 260 ka BP suggested that climate fluctuations had little impact on human settlements in this study area. The distinct physical environment, especially the spatial patterns of karst landforms and arable land played an important role in the archaeological sites distribution of Guizhou.
Based on the palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental evidences of geological history and human history periods, this paper reviews the researches and progresses on the development of the sandy deserts in Xinjiang. It pointed out that the features of tectonic structure in Xinjiang had made both the Tarim Basin and the Junggar Basin being influenced greatly by the foehn effects originated from the planetary wind system of westerly, the East Asian ocean-continental monsoon and the topographical mountain-valley winds. The regional patterns of climate and environment since the Quaternary were characterized by the overall persistent drought accompanied by fluctuations in the secondary scale. Formations of aeolian sediments in the basins and at the margins are a potential response to global climate change, particularly the aridification of the Asian hinterland deduced by the uprising of the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding highlands. For the question about the formation time of the Taklamakan Desert, because the research methods, objects and information carriers used in previous studies are different, there are many disputes in the academic circles at present. Evidences from aeolian deposits/rocks at the edge and in the hinterland of these sandy deserts and their chronological data indicate that an arid climate and land surface aeolian processes have occurred at the edge of the Tarim Basin and its hinterland areas since the Tertiary period. However, the duration time of these processes at mass scale should have begun after the middle Pleistocene and lasted to the Holocene. Occurrence of dune fields in recent 2000 years in the oasis areas should be greatly influenced by human factors.
Language plays a vital role in the communication, sharing and transmission of information among human beings. Geographical languages are essential for understanding, investigating, representing and propagating geo-spatial information. Geographical languages have developed and evolved gradually with improvements in science, technology and cognitive levels. Concerning the theoretical progress from geographical information ontology, epistemology and linguistic theory, this paper firstly puts forward the concept of a GIS language and discusses its basic characteristics according to changes in the structures, functions and characteristics of geographical languages. This GIS language can be regarded as a system of synthetic digital symbols. It is a comprehensive representation of geographical objects, phenomena and their spatial distributions and dynamic processes. This representation helps us generate a universal perception of geographical space using geographical scenarios or symbols with geometry, statuses, processes, spatio-temporal relationships, semantics and attributes. Furthermore, this paper states that the GIS language represents a new generation of geographical language due to its intrinsic characteristics, structures, functions and systematic content. Based on the aforementioned theoretical foundation, this paper illustrates the pivotal status and contributions of the GIS language from the perspective of geographical researchers. The language of GIS is a new geographical language designed for the current era, with features including spatio-temporal multi-dimension representation, interactive visualization, virtual geographical scenarios, multi-sensor perception and expedient broadcasting via the web. The GIS language is the highest-level geographical language developed to date, integrating semantic definitions, feature extraction, geographical dynamic representation and spatio-temporal factors and unifying the computation of geographical phenomena and objects. The GIS language possesses five important characteristics: abstraction, systematicness, strictness, precision and hierarchy. In summary, the GIS language provides a new means for people to recognize, understand and simulate entire geo-environments. Therefore, exploration of the GIS language’s functions in contemporary geographical developments is becoming increasingly important. Similarly, construction of the conceptual model and scientific systems of the GIS language will promote the development of the disciplines of geography and geographical information sciences. Therefore, this paper investigates the prospects of the GIS language from the perspectives of digital technology, geographical norms, geographical modeling and the disciplinary development of geography.