Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (4): 483-495.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1611-4

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

The Belt and Road: Geographical pattern and regional risks

Shaohong WU1,2,3(), Lulu LIU1,2,3, Yanhua LIU1,2,3,*(), Jiangbo GAO1,2, Erfu DAI1,2,3, Aiqing FENG4, Wentao WANG5   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. National Climate Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
    5. Administrative Center for China Agenda 21, Beijing 100862, China
  • Received:2018-08-12 Accepted:2018-11-22 Online:2019-04-25 Published:2019-04-12
  • Contact: Yanhua LIU;
  • About author:

    Author: Wu Shaohong, Professor, specialized in physical geography. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41530749;Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.XDA20020202, No.XDA19040304


Building the Belt and Road is initiatives of China to promote win-win international cooperation in the new era, aiming at green, health, intellect and peace and the joint development with people of the countries along the route. Systematic analysis on environmental characteristics, evolutionary tendency and future risks are certainly the scientific fundamentals of sustainable development for the Belt and Road construction. Applied remote sensing monitoring, statistical analysis, this paper investigates the regional characteristics of climate, topography, soil, hydrology, vegetation cover and terrestrial ecosystems production, as well as socio-economic conditions. Based on the regional characteristics, the Belt and Road is divided into 9 sub-regions: Central and Eastern Europe sub-region with cold and humid climate, Mongolia and Russia sub-region with cold and arid climate, Central and West Asia arid sub-region, Southeast Asia sub-region with warm and humid climate, Pakistan arid sub-region, Bangladesh-India-Myanmar sub-region with warm and humid climate, Eastern China monsoon sub-region, Northwest China arid sub-region and Tibetan Plateau sub-region. Combining modeling simulation with scenario projections, natural disaster assessment methodology is used to assess the risk of extreme events including heat waves, droughts and floods in the coming 30 years (2021-2050). Results show that, on the basis of the regional framework, the western Eurasia would be a warming trend; both sides of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in high temperature and heat waves risk; Central and Eastern Europe sub-region with cold and humid climate in high drought risk; Bangladesh-India-Myanmar sub-region with warm and humid climate as well as Eastern China in high risk of flooding.

Key words: the Belt and Road, regional characteristics, extreme events, environmental change, risks