Drought is one of the most destructive disasters in the Lancang River Basin, which is an ungauged basin with strong heterogeneity on terrain and climate. Our validation suggested the version-6 monthly TRMM multi-satellite precipitation analysis (TMPA; 3B43 V.6) product during the period 1998 to 2009 is an alternative precipitation data source with good accuracy. By using the standard precipitation index (SPI), at the grid point (0.25°×0.25°) and sub-basin spatial scales, this work assessed the effectiveness of TMPA in drought monitoring during the period 1998 to 2009 at the 1-month scale and 3-months scale; validated the monitoring accuracy of TMPA for two severe droughts happened in 2006 and 2009, respectively. Some conclusions are drawn as follows. (1) At the grid point spatial scale, in comparison with the monitoring results between rain gauges (SPI1g) and TMPA grid (SPI1s), both agreed well at the 1-month scale for most of the grid points and those grid points with the lowest critical success index (CSI) are distributed in the middle stream of the Lancang River Basin. (2) The same as SPI1s, the consistency between SPI3s and SPI3g is good for most of the grid points at the 3-months scale, those grid points with the lowest were concentrated in the middle stream and downstream of the Lancang River Basin. (3) At the 1-month scale and 3-months scale, CSI ranged from 50% to 76% for most of the grid points, which demonstrated high accuracy of TMPA in drought monitoring. (4) At the 3-months scale, based on TMPA basin-wide precipitation estimates, though we tended to overestimate (underestimate) the peaks of dry or wet events, SPI3s detected successfully the occurrence of them over the five sub-basins at the most time and captured the occurrence and development of the two severe droughts happened in 2006 and 2009. This analysis shows that TMPA has the potential for drought monitoring in data-sparse regions.
Land use and land cover change as the core of coupled human-environment systems has become a potential field of land change science (LCS) in the study of global environmental change. Based on remotely sensed data of land use change with a spatial resolution of 1 km × 1 km on national scale among every 5 years, this paper designed a new dynamic regionalization according to the comprehensive characteristics of land use change including regional differentiation, physical, economic, and macro-policy factors as well. Spatial pattern of land use change and its driving forces were investigated in China in the early 21st century. To sum up, land use change pattern of this period was characterized by rapid changes in the whole country. Over the agricultural zones, e.g., Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, the southeast coastal areas and Sichuan Basin, a great proportion of fine arable land were engrossed owing to considerable expansion of the built-up and residential areas, resulting in decrease of paddy land area in southern China. The development of oasis agriculture in Northwest China and the reclamation in Northeast China led to a slight increase in arable land area in northern China. Due to the “Grain for Green” policy, forest area was significantly increased in the middle and western developing regions, where the vegetation coverage was substantially enlarged, likewise. This paper argued the main driving forces as the implementation of the strategy on land use and regional development, such as policies of “Western Development”, “Revitalization of Northeast”, coupled with rapidly economic development during this period.
Major function oriented zoning (MFOZ hereafter) is the guideline for optimizing the spatial pattern of regional development in China, which entails both theoretical and methodological innovation in the academic field of economic geography. This study analyzes the basic features of territorial function and puts forward a spatial equilibrium model for regional development for the first time. It argues that there exists a trend of regional convergence in the average value which indicates the comprehensive development status of any region. Based on this finding, the study illustrates that the formation of functional zone should be conducive to the narrowing of regional gap and that free flow of resources between regions is the prerequisite to spatial equilibrium. It also investigates the impact of territorial functional evolution on the process of spatial equilibrium and suggests that the maximization of benefits derived from zoning proposal is interrelative with the method of regional division and the degree of understanding towards the temporal changes of territorial function. Furthermore, this study goes on to examine the scientific foundation of several issues concerning the reconciliation between contradictory functions of development and protection, the selection of indicators and the spatial and temporal features of MFOZ. It is then probes into the rationality of achieving dual goals of efficiency and equality simultaneously through three-dimensional flow and spatial equilibrium. The paper ends with discussions on the position, implementation and coordination of MFOZ from the perspective of institutional arrangements of spatial governance including law, planning and government policy.
In the mid-1990s, we established the national operative dynamic information serving systems on natural resources and environment. During building the land-use/land-cover change (LUCC) database for the mid-1990s, 520 scenes of remotely sensed images of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) were interpreted into land-use/land-cover categories at scale of 1:100,000 under overall digital software environment after being geo-referenced and ortho-rectified. The vector map of land-use/land-cover in China at the scale of 1:100,000 was recently converted into a 1-km raster database that captures all of the high-resolution land-use information by calculating area percentage for each kind of land use category within every cell. Being designed as an operative dynamic information serving system, monitoring the change in land-use/land-cover at national level was executed. We have completed the updating of LUCC database by comparing the TM data in the mid-1990s with new data sources received during 1999-2000 and 1989-1990. The LUCC database has supported greatly the national LUCC research program in China and some relative studies are incompletely reviewed in this paper.
As the largest wetland in the North China Plain (NCP), the Baiyangdian Lake plays an important role in maintaining water balance and ecological health of NCP. In the past few decades, the decreasing streamflow in the Baiyangdian Basin associated with climate variability and human activities has caused a series of water and eco-environmental issues. In this study, we quantified the impacts of climate variability and human activities on streamflow in the water source area of the Baiyangdian Lake, based on analyses of hydrologic changes of the upper Tanghe river catchment (a sub-basin of the Baiyangdian Basin) from 1960 to 2008. Climate elasticity method and hydrological modeling method were used to distinguish the effects of climate variability and human activities. The results showed that the annual streamflow decreased significantly (P>0.05) by 1.7 mm/a and an abrupt change was identified around the year 1980. The quantification results indicated that climate variations accounted for 38%-40% of decreased streamflow, while human activities accounted for 60%-62%. Therefore, the effect of human activities played a dominant role on the decline of the streamflow in the water source area of the Baiyangdian Lake. To keep the ecosystem health of the Baiyangdian Lake, we suggest that minimum ecological water demand and integrated watershed management should be guaranteed in the future.
This review summarizes main research findings in soil fauna eco-geography in China in the past 30 years. The subject areas and main results were overviewed including biodiversity and eco-geological distribution of soil fauna communities. Studies of ecological distributions of soil fauna and dynamic ranges in space from tropical, subtropical to temperate regions, and in categories from forest, grassland, desert, wetland, farmland to urban ecosystems, the responses and indications of soil fauna to soil environments. Effects of intensive disturbance such as fire, grazing, farming, fertilization on soil fauna include sensitive (e.g. nematode) and rare groups and community indexes. The functions of soil fauna were discussed including environmental construction, environmental purification, litter decomposition and elements cycling. Interactions between soil fauna and other biota in soil ecosystems and linking between aboveground and belowground diversity and the effects of global change on soil fauna community in China were also included. Finally, the authors pointed out common interests in soil fauna eco-geographical studies, which include application of molecule biology into soil fauna taxa; function and mechanism of soil fauna community diversity; interaction between aboveground and belowground ecosystems; effects of disturbance, pollution, biological invasion, and global change on soil fauna community and function. The review is to provide a scientific basis for promoting soil fauna eco-geographical studies in China.
The temporal and spatial changes of NDVI on the Tibetan Plateau, as well as the relationship between NDVI and precipitation, were discussed in this paper, by using 8-km resolution multi-temporal NOAA AVHRR-NDVI data from 1982 to 1999. Monthly maximum NDVI and monthly rainfall were used to analyze the seasonal changes, and annual maximum NDVI, annual effective precipitation and growing season precipitation (from April to August) were used to discuss the interannual changes. The dynamic change of NDVI and the corre-lation coefficients between NDVI and rainfall were computed for each pixel. The results are as follows: (1) The NDVI reached the peak in growing season (from July to September) on the Tibetan Plateau. In the northern and western parts of the plateau, the growing season was very short (about two or three months); but in the southern, vegetation grew almost all the year round. The correlation of monthly maximum NDVI and monthly rainfall varied in different areas. It was weak in the western, northern and southern parts, but strong in the central and eastern parts. (2) The spatial distribution of NDVI interannual dynamic change was different too. The increase areas were mainly distributed in southern Tibet montane shrub-steppe zone, western part of western Sichuan-eastern Tibet montane coniferous forest zone, western part of northern slopes of Kunlun montane desert zone and southeastern part of southern slopes of Himalaya montane evergreen broad-leaved forest zone; the decrease areas were mainly distributed in the Qaidam montane desert zone, the western and northern parts of eastern Qinghai-Qilian montane steppe zone, southern Qinghai high cold meadow steppe zone and Ngari montane desert-steppe and desert zone. The spatial distribution of correlation coeffi-cient between annual effective rainfall and annual maximum NDVI was similar to the growing season rainfall and annual maximum NDVI, and there was good relationship between NDVI and rainfall in the meadow and grassland with medium vegetation cover, and the effect of rainfall on vegetation was small in the forest and desert area.
Supported by RS and GIS, the land use change from 1982 to 2003 were analyzed and the impacts of land use changes on pH value, organic matter, total N, total P, total K, available N, available P, and available K in soil of Xiaojiang watershed, a typical karst agricultural region of Yunnan Province, Southwest China were assessed. The following aspects are concluded. (1) The total land use converted during the past 20 years in Xiaojiang watershed covers an area of 610.12 km2, of which 134.29 km2 of forestland was converted into cultivated land, and 210 km2 of unused land was converted into cultivated land. (2) The rapid growth of population and the economic development were the main driving forces of land use change. (3) With the change in land use, the soil properties have been changed significantly. The pH, organic matter, total N, total P, total K, available N, available P and available K in soil in 1982 were 6.3, 38.02 g kg-1, 1.86 g kg-1, 1.63 g kg-1, 10.94 g kg-1, 114.42 g kg-1, 11.65 mg kg-1 and 64.69 mg kg-1g, respectively; and those in 2003 were 6.73, 25.26 g kg-1, 1.41 g kg-1, 0.99 g kg-1, 12.6 g kg-1, 113.43 mg kg-1, 11.11 mg kg-1 and 151.59 mg kg-1, respectively. Pared samples t-test of the tested indices of soil properties indicate that those indices have changed significantly during the last 20 years. But the soil properties changed differently, due to the differences in land use change. (4) Also, with the change in land use and management measures of soil, the modifications in soil properties which developed from carbonate rocks were more sensitive than those in the soil developed from sandstone.
Using monthly precipitation and monthly mean temperature, a surface humid index was proposed. According to the index, the distributed characteristics of extreme dryness has been fully analyzed. The results indicated that there is an obvious increasing trend of extreme dryness in the central part of northern China and northeastern China in the last 10 years, which shows a high frequency period of extreme dryness; while a low frequency period in the regions during the last 100 years. Compared with variation trend of the temperature in these regions, the region of high frequent extreme dryness is consistent with the warming trend in the same region.
Western North Pacific Subtropical High is a very important atmospheric circulation system influencing the summer climate over eastern China. Its interdecadal change is analyzed in this study. There is a significant decadal shift in about 1979/1980. Since 1980, the Western North Pacific Subtropical High has enlarged, intensified, and shifted southwestward. This change gives rise to an anti-cyclonic circulation anomaly over the region from the South China Sea to western Pacific and thus causes wet anomalies over the Yangtze River valley. During the summers of 1980-1999, the precipitation is 63.9 mm above normal, while during 1958-1979 it is 27.3 mm below normal. The difference is significant at the 99% confidence level as a t-test shown. The southwestward expanding of the Western North Pacific Subtropical High also leads to a significant warming in southern China, during 1980-1999 the summer mean temperature is 0.37oC warmer than that of the period 1958-1979. The strong warming is primarily due to the clearer skies associated with the stronger downward air motion as the Western North Pacific Subtropical High expanding to the west and controlling southern China. It is also found that the relative percentage of tropical cyclones in the regions south of 20oN is decreasing since the 1980s, but in the regions north of 20oN that is increasing at the same time. The Western North Pacific Subtropical High responds significantly to sea surface temperature of the tropical eastern Pacific with a lag of one-two seasons and simultaneously to sea surface temperature of the tropical Indian Ocean. The changes in the sea surface temperatures are mainly responsible for the interdecadal variability of the Western North Pacific Subtropical High.
This paper provides a detailed analysis of the factors influencing the evolution of rural settlements, including natural environmental constraints, infrastructure, regional cultural inheritance and integration, urbanization and rural industrial transformation, land use reformation and innovation, rural household behavior conversion, macro-control policy factors, and so on. Based on differences between the ways and degree of effect on rural settlement evolution, these factors are classified into basic factors, new-type factors and mutation factors. The drive of basic factors mainly focuses on the traditional inheritance of rural settlements, the new-type factors mainly affect rural settlement transition, and the mutation factors may bring about sudden changes. All these factors constitute a “three-wheel” driving mechanism for the evolution of rural settlements, and shape three typical driver paths: slow smooth path under the basic factors, new path to rapid development under the new-type factors, and the sudden change path under the mutation factors. The paper also investigates the overall situation of rural settlement evolution in the aspects of settlement system, settlement scale, settlement morphology, settlement function, settlement culture, settlement environment, etc. The general process of rural settlement evolution is divided into four stages: initial, transitional, developmental, and mature stages.
Rural hollowing is a recent geographic phenomenon that has received significant attention in China, which is experiencing rapid urbanization. It has led to the wasteful use of rural land resources, and imposed obstacles on the optimization of land use and coordinated urban-rural development. Rural hollowing has various forms of manifestation, which refers to the neglect and vacancy of rural dwellings, both of which can lead to damage and ultimate abandonment of rural dwellings. Damaged dwellings have different degrees of destruction, ranging from slight, moderate to severe. The evolutive process of rural hollowing in general has five stages, i.e., emergence, growth, flourishing, stability, and decline. Based on the combination of both regional economic development level and its physiographic features, the types of rural hollowing can be categorised as urban fringe, plain agricultural region, hilly agricultural region, and agro-pastoral region. Especially, the plain agricultural region is the most typical one in rural hollowing, which shows the spatial evolution of rural hollowing as a “poached egg” pattern with a layered hollow core and solid shape. Furthermore, the driving forces behind rural hollowing are identified as the pull of cities and push of rural areas. In particular, this paper identifies contributors to rural hollowing that include rural depopulation in relation to rapid urbanisation and economic change, land ownership and land use policy, and institutional barriers.
Anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) emission and related global warming issues have been the focus of international communities for some time. The international communities have reached a consensus to reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions and restrain global warming. The quantitative assessment of anthropogenic GHG emissions is the scientific basis to find out the status of global GHG emission, identify the commitments of each country, and arrange the international efforts of GHG emission reduction. Currently the main assessment indicators for GHG emission include national indicator, per capita indicator, per GDP indicator, and international trade indicator etc. The introduction to the above indicators is put forward and their merits and demerits are analyzed. Based on the GHG emission data from the World Resource Institute (WRI), the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), the results of each indictor are calculated for the world, for the eight G8 industrialized countries (USA, UK, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Russia), and the five major developing countries including China, Brazil, India, South Africa and Mexico. The paper points out that all these indicators have some limitations. The Indicator of Industrialized Accumulative Emission per Capita (IAEC) is put forward as the equitable indicator to evaluate the industrialized historical accumulative emission per capita of every country. IAEC indicator can reflect the economic achievement of GHG emission enjoyed by the current generations in every country and their commitments. The analysis of IAEC indicates that the historical accumulative emission per capita in industrialized countries such as UK and USA were typically higher than those of the world average and the developing countries. Emission indicator per capita per GDP, consumptive emission indicator and survival emission indicator are also put forward and discussed in the paper.
Glaciers are one of the most important land covers in alpine regions and especially sensitive to global climate change. Remote sensing has proved to be the best method of investigating the extent of glacial variations in remote mountainous areas. Using Landsat thematic mapping (TM) and multi-spectral-scanner (MSS) images from Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) National Nature Preserve (QNNP), central high Himalayas for 1976, 1988 and 2006, we derived glacial extent for these three periods. A combination of object-oriented image interpretation methods, expert knowledge rules and field surveys were employed. Results showed that (1) the glacial area in 2006 was 2710.17 ± 0.011 km2 (about 7.41% of the whole study area), and located mainly to the south and between 4700 m to 6800 m above sea level; (2) from 1976 to 2006, glaciers reduced by 501.91 ± 0.035 km2 and glacial lakes expanded by 36.88 ± 0.035 km2; the rate of glacier retreat was higher in sub-basins on the southern slopes (16.79%) of the Himalayas than on the northern slopes (14.40%); most glaciers retreated, and mainly occurred at an elevation of 4700–6400 m, and the estimated upper limit of the retreat zone is between 6600 m and 6700 m; (3) increase in temperature and decrease in precipitation over the study period are the key factors driving retreat.
A total of 118 of agricultural soil and 43 of vegetable samples were collected from Dongguan City, Guangdong, China. The spatial distribution, sources, accumulation characteristics and potential risk of heavy metals in the agricultural soils and vegetables were depicted in details by three different approaches, including total contents of eight metal elements in soils and vegetables, GIS maps and multivariate analysis of heavy metals in soils in the study. The results show that there are higher accumulation of heavy metals such as Cu, Zn, Ni, Pb, Cd and Hg in agricultural soils, and the contents of Pb (65.38 mg kg?1) and Hg (0.24 mg kg?1) are 1.82 and 2.82 times of the background contents of the corresponding heavy metals in soils of Guangdong Province, respectively. There are about 3.4% of Cu, 5.9% of Ni, 1.7% of Cd and 28% of Hg in all collected soil samples from all investigated sites which have overran the contents for heavy metals of the China Environmental Quality Standard for Soils (GB15618-1995, Grade Ⅱ). The pollution characteristics of multi-metals in soils are mainly reflected by Hg. There are different sources to eight metal elements in soils, Cu, Zn, Ni, Cr and As are predominantly derived from parent materials, and Pb, Hg and Cd are affected by anthropogenic activities. The spatial distribution shows that the Cu, Zn, Ni, Cr, Pb, As and Hg contents of agricultural soils are high in the west and low in the east, and Cd contents are high in the northwest, southeast and low in the southwest in Dongguan. The ratios of vegetable samples which Ni, Pb and As concentrations higher than the Maximum Levels of Contaminants in Foods (GB2762-2005) are 4.7%, 16.3% and 48.8%, respectively. The order of bio-concentration factors (BCF) of heavy metals in vegetables is Cd > Zn > Cu > As > Ni > Hg > Cr > Pb. It is necessary to focus on potential risk of heavy metals for food safety and human’s health from agricultural soils and vegetables in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province.
Based on the surface runoff, temperature and precipitation data over the last 50 years from eight representative rivers in Xinjiang, using Mann-Kendall trend and jump detection method, the paper investigated the long-term trend and jump point of time series, the surface runoff, mean annual temperature and annual precipitation. Meanwhile, the paper analyzed the relationship between runoff and temperature and precipitation, and the flood frequency and peak flow. Results showed that climate of all parts of Xinjiang conformably has experienced an increase in temperature and precipitation since the mid-1980s. Northern Xinjiang was the area that changed most significantly followed by southern and eastern Xinjiang. Affected by temperature and precipitation variation, river runoff had changed both inter- annually and intra-annually. The surface runoff of most rivers has increased significantly since the early 1990s, and some of them have even witnessed the earlier spring floods, later summer floods and increasing flood peaks. The variation characteristics were closely related with the replenishment types of rivers. Flood frequency and peak flow increased all over Xinjiang. Climate warming has had an effect on the regional hydrological cycle.
Based on the data from the Cost-benefit Data of Farm Produce and the China Agricultural Yearbook, this paper divided the intensity of cultivated land use into labor intensity and capital intensity, and then analyzed their temporal and spatial change at both national and provincial levels between 1980 and 2006. The results showed that: (1) At the national level, labor intensity on food produce decreased from 398.5 day/ha in 1980 to 130.25 day/ha in 2006; and a continuous decrease with a steep decline between 1980 and 1986, a slower decline from 1987 to 1996, and another steep decline from 1997 to 2006. On the contrary, capital intensity shows an increasing trend since 1980. As to the internal composition of capital intensity, the proportion of seed, chemical fertilizer and pesticide input decreased from 90.36% to 73.44% and the proportion of machinery increased from 9.64% to 26.56%. The less emphasis on yield-increasing input and more emphasis on labor-saving input are the main reasons for a slow increase of yield per unit area after 1996. (2) At the provincial level, the developed areas have lower labor intensity and higher capital intensity. The less developed ones have higher labor intensity but lower capital intensity. From the viewpoint of the internal composition of capital intensity, labor-saving input accounts for more proportion in the developed areas than that of other areas. The main reason is that in these developed areas, labor input has become a constraint factor in food production as more and more labors engaged in off-farm work. Farmers increase the labor-saving input for higher labor productivity. However, in the less developed areas, the major constraint is the shortage of capital; food production is still depending on labor and yield-increasing inputs.
The effect of spatial pattern on the nutrient reduction is investigated based on the spatial simulation model developed for the study area of the Liaohe Delta, China. Four scenarios are designed to test the effect of different landscape components on the nutrient reduction in the reed marsh: Canal density, reed area size, reed area shrinking pattern, and pumping station position. Based on a spatial model designed for the study area, the nutrient reduction in each case of these scenarios is simulated. The results indicate that each factor brings less than 10% change in the total nutrient reduction rate. More canals will not help much to improve nutrient reduction. Smaller areas are more efficient than larger ones. The shrinkage pattern is better than others in keeping a higher nutrient reduction rate. It is also more efficient to keep the pumping station near the border of the area to be irrigated. These conclusions provide theoretical supports to strategy makers for local land use planning, and contribute to the understanding of the relationship between landscape patterns and functions.
In this study the relationship between the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and climate in China in boreal winter are investigated. Correlation analysis for the last 41 years shows that the winter temperature and precipitation in China change in phase with AO. High positive correlation (>0.4) between temperature and AO appears in the northern China. High correlation coefficients between precipitation and AO cover the southern China (close to the South China Sea) and the central China (between 30o-40oN and east of ~100oE), with the values varying between +0.3 and +0.4. It is found that during the past several decades the precipitation was strongly affected by AO, but for the temperature the Siberian High plays a more important role. At the interdecadal time scale the AO has significant influence on both temperature and precipitation. Multivariate regression analysis demonstrates that AO and the Siberian High related variance in temperature and precipitation is 35% and 11% respectively. For precipitation, however the portion is rather low, implying that some other factors may be responsible for the changes in precipitation, in addition to AO and the Siberian High.
A total of 219 agricultural soil and 48 vegetable samples were collected from the midstream and downstream of the Xiangjiang River (the Hengyang–Changsha section) in Hunan Province. The accumulation characteristics, spatial distribution and potential risk of heavy metals in the agricultural soils and vegetables were depicted. There are higher accu-mulations of heavy metals such as As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn in agricultural soils, and the contents of Cd (2.44 mg kg-1), Pb (65.00 mg kg-1) and Zn (144.13 mg kg-1) are 7.97, 3.69 and 1.63 times the corresponding background contents in soils of Hunan Province, respectively. 13.2% of As, 68.5% of Cd, 2.7% of Cu, 2.7% of Ni, 8.7% of Pb and 15.1% of Zn in soil sam-ples from the investigated sites exceeded the maximum allowable heavy metal contents in the China Environmental Quality Standard for Soils (GB15618-1995, Grade II). The pollution characteristics of multi-metals in soils are mainly due to Cd. The contents of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in vegetable soils are significantly higher than the contents in paddy soils. 95.8%, 68.8%, 10.4% and 95.8% of vegetable samples exceeded the Maximum Levels of Contami-nants in Foods (GB2762-2005) for As, Cd, Ni and Pb concentrations, respectively. There are significantly positive correlations between the concentrations of Cd, Pb and Zn in vegetables and the concentrations in the corresponding vegetable soils (p<0.01). It is very necessary to focus on the potential risk of heavy metals for food safety and human health in agricultural soils and vegetables in the midstream and downstream of the Xiangjiang River, Hunan Province of China.
The west sandy land of the Northeast China Plain is located in the eastern huge sandy belt of mid-latitude in Eurasia and the eastern fringe of desertified land with best bio-climatic conditions in China. With rapid economic development, the deterioration of eco-environment has occurred and the desertification becomes very obvious. The first part of this paper studies the regional differences of landscape patterns and explores the regional differences of desertification. The second part aims to reveal the dynamics of desertification in the 1990s by using NOAA/AVHRR data and thematic data in GIS database. This work lays a scientific basis for the rehabilitation and development of the sandy lands.
Based on the daily data of temperature and precipitation of 108 meteorological stations in Southwest China from 1960 to 2009, we calculate the monthly and yearly surface humid indexes, as well as the extreme drought frequency. According to the data, the temporal and spatial characteristics of the extreme drought frequency in inter-annual, inter-decadal, summer monsoon period and winter monsoon period are analyzed. The results are indicated as follows. (1) In general, the southwestern Sichuan Basin, southern Hengduan Mountains, southern coast of Guangxi and northern Guizhou are the areas where the extreme drought frequency has significantly increased in the past 50 years. As for the decadal change, from the 1960s to the 1980s the extreme drought frequency has presented a decreasing trend, while the 1990s is the wettest decade and the whole area is turning wet. In the 2000s, the extreme drought frequency rises quickly, but the regional differences reduce. (2) During summer monsoon period, the extreme drought frequency is growing, which generally occurs in the high mountains around the Sichuan Basin, most parts of Guangxi and “the broom-shaped mountains” in Yunnan. It is distinct that the altitude has impacts on the extreme drought frequency; during winter monsoon period, the area is relatively wet and the extreme drought frequency is decreasing. (3) During summer monsoon period, the abrupt change is observed in 2003, whereas the abrupt change during winter monsoon period is in 1989. The annual extreme drought frequency variation is a superposition of abrupt changes during summer monsoon and winter monsoon periods. The departure sequence vibration of annual extreme drought frequency is quasi-5 years and quasi-12 years.
Based on the measured hydrological data from 1951 to 2008, the chain hydrological effect between Jingjiang River and Dongting Lake is analyzed by comparative method after the Three Gorges Project operation. The result indicates that 1) the scouring amount in Jingjiang River made up 78.9% of the total from Yichang to Chenglingji, and its average scouring intensity was higher than the latter; 2) the water and sand diversion rates at the three outlets of the Jingjiang River were reduced by 2.33% and 2.78% separately; 3) the proportion of multi-year average runoff and sediment through the three outlets in the total into the Dongting Lake decreased by 7.7% and 24.4% respectively; 4) in Dongting Lake, the speed of sediment accumulation was lowered by 26.7%, in flood season, the runoff amount was 20.2% less than the multi-year average value, leading to seasonal scarcity of water year by year. The former prolonged the lake life, while the latter induced droughts in summer and fall in successive years, shortage of drinking and industrial water, shipping insecurity, as well as ecological problems such as decrease of birds and quick increase of Microtus fortis; 5) The multi-year average values of sediment and flood transporting capacity at the lake outlet were respectively increased by 26.6% and 3.7%, the embankments were protected effectively. Then, to adapt to the new change of the river-lake relation, some suggestions were put forward, such as optimizing further operation program of the Three Gorges Reservoir, reexamining the idea of river and lake regulation, and maintaining connection of the river and the lake.
Land use/cover change (LUCC) is widely recognized as one of the most important driving forces of global carbon cycles. The influence of converting native forest into plantations, secondary forest, orchard and arable land on stores and quality of soil organic carbon (SOC) was investigated in mid-subtropical mountainous area of southern China. The results showed that LUCC had led to great decreases in SOC stocks and quality. Considerable SOC and light-fraction organic carbon (LFOC) had been stored in the native forest (142.2 t hm?2 and 14.8 t hm?2 respectively). When the native forest was converted to plantations, secondary forest, orchard and arable land, the SOC stocks decreased by 25.6%, 28.7%, 38.0%, 31.8% and 51.2%, respectively. The LFOC stocks decreased by 52.2% to 57.2% when the native forest was converted to woodland plantations and secondary forest, and by 82.1% to 84.2% when converted to economic plantation, orchard and arable land. After the conversion, the ratios of LFOC to SOC (0–60 cm) decreased from 13.3% to about 3.0% to 10.7%. The SOC and LFOC stored at the upper 20 cm were more sensitive to LUCC when compared to the subsurface soil layer. Also, the decline in carbon storage induced by LUCC was greater than the global average level, it could be explained by the vulnerable natural environment and special human management practices. Thus, it is wise to enhance soil carbon sequestration, mitigate elevated atmospheric co2 and develop ecological services by protecting vulnerable environment, restoring vegetation coverage, and afforesting in mountainous area in mid-subtropics.
Land use and land cover changes have a great impact on the regional hydrological process. Based on three periods of remote sensing data from the 1960s and the long-term observed data of groundwater from the 1980s, the impacts of land use changes on the groundwater system in the middle reach of Heihe River Basin in recent three decades are analyzed by the perspective of groundwater recharge and discharge system. The results indicate that with the different intensities of land use changes, the impacts on the groundwater recharge were 2.602×108 m3/a in the former 15 years (1969-1985) and 0.218×108 m3/a in the latter 15 years (1986-2000), and the impacts on the groundwater discharge were 2.035×108 m3/a and 4.91×108 m3/a respectively. When the groundwater exploitation was in a reasonable range less than 3.0×108 m3/a, the land use changes could control the changes of regional groundwater resources. Influenced by the land use changes and the large-scale exploitation in the recent decade, the groundwater resources present apparently regional differences in Zhangye region. Realizing the impact of land use changes on groundwater system and the characteristics of spatial-temporal variations of regional groundwater resources would be very important for reasonably utilizing and managing water and soil resources.
Water stored in deep loess soil is one of the most important resources regulating vegetation growth in the semi-arid area of the Loess Plateau, but planted shrub and forest often disrupt the natural water cycle and in turn influence plant growth. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of main vegetation types on soil moisture and its inter- annual change. Soil moisture in 0–10 m depth of six vegetation types, i.e., crop, grass, planted shrub of caragana, planted forests of arborvitae, pine and the mixture of pine and arborvitae were measured in 2001, 2005 and 2006. Soil moisture in about 0–3 m of cropland and about 0–2 m of other vegetation types varied inter-annually dependent on annual precipitation, but was stable inter-annually below these depths. In 0–2 m, soil moisture of cropland was significantly greater than those of all other vegetation types, and there were no significant differences among other vegetation types. In 2–10 m, there was no significant moisture difference between cropland and grassland, but the soil moistures under both of them were significantly higher than those of planted shrub and forests. The planted shrub and forests had depleted soil moisture below 2 m to or near permanent wilting point, and there were no significant moisture differences among forest types. The soil moisture of caragana shrub was significantly lower than those of forests, but the absolute difference was very small. The results of this study implicated that the planted shrub and forests had depleted deep soil moisture to the lowest limits to which they could extract and they lived mainly on present year precipitation for transpiration.
Despite the observed increase in global temperature, observed pan evaporation in many regions has been decreasing over the past 50 years, which is known as the "pan evaporation paradox". The "pan evaporation paradox" also exists in the Tibetan Plateau, where pan evaporation has decreased by 3.06 mm a-2 (millimeter per annum). It is necessary to explain the mechanisms behind the observed decline in pan evaporation because the Tibetan Plateau strongly influences climatic and environmental changes in China, Asia and even in the Northern Hemisphere. In this paper, a derivation based approach has been used to quantitatively assess the contribution rate of climate factors to the observed pan evaporation trend across the Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that, provided the other factors remain constant, the increasing temperature should have led to a 2.73 mm a-2 increase in pan evaporation annually, while change in wind speed, vapor pressure and solar radiation should have led to a decrease in pan evaporation by 2.81 mm a-2, 1.96 mm a-2 and 1.11 mm a-2 respectively from 1970 to 2005. The combined effects of the four climate variables have resulted in a 3.15 mm a-2 decrease in pan evaporation, which is close to the observed pan evaporation trend with a relative error of 2.94%. A decrease in wind speed was the dominant factor for the decreasing pan evaporation, followed by an increasing vapor pressure and decreasing solar radiation, all of which offset the effect of increasing temperature across the Tibetan Plateau.
Based on the statistics of glacier area variation measured in the Chinese Tianshan Mountains since 1960, the response of glacier area variation to climate change is discussed systematically. As a result, the total area of the glaciers has been reduced by 11.5% in the past 50 years, which is a weighted percentage according to the glacier area variations of 10 drainage basins separated by the Glacier Inventory of China (GIC). The annual percentage of area changes (APAC) of glaciers in the Chinese Tianshan Mountains is 0.31% after the standardization of the study period. The APAC varies widely for different drainage basins, but the glaciers are in a state of rapid retreat, generally. According to the 14 meteorological stations in the Chinese Tianshan Mountains, both the temperature and precipitation display a marked increasing tendency from 1960 to 2009 at a rate of 0.34℃·(10a)-1 and 11 mm·(10a)-1, respectively. The temperature in the dry seasons (from November to March) increases rapidly at a rate of 0.46℃·(10a)-1, but the precipitation grows slowly at 2.3 mm·(10a)-1. While the temperature in the wet seasons (from April to October) grows at a rate of 0.25 ℃·(10a)-1, but the precipitation increases at 8.7 mm·(10a)-1. The annual and seasonal climatic trends accelerate the retreat of glaciers.
Sand-dust storm is a special natural disaster that frequently occurs in deserts and their surrounding areas. With the data published on Surface Meteorological Monthly Bulletin and Surface Chart during 1971-1996, the temporal-spatial distribution and annual variation of sand-dust storms are analyzed on the basis of the case study of atmospheric processes. Furthermore, the tracks and source areas of sand-dust storms are determined with the aid of GIS. The results show that except some parts of Qinghai Province and Inner Mongolia as well as Beijing, sand-dust storms decrease apparently in time and space in recent decades in China. Sand-dust storms occur most frequently in spring, especially in April. According to their source areas, sand-dust storms are classified into two types, i.e., the inner-source and outer-source sand-dust storms. Most of the outer-source sand-dust storms move along the north and west tracks. The north-track outer-source sand-dust storms always intrude into China across the Sino-Mongolian border from Hami, a city in the eastern part of Xinjiang, to Xilin Gol, a league in Inner Mongolia, while the west-track ones intrude into China from both southern and northern Xinjiang. The source lands of inner-source sand-dust storms concentrate in the Taklimakan Desert and its surrounding areas in southern Xinjiang, southern part of the Junggar Basin in north of Xinjiang, the Hexi Corridor in western Gansu Province, the dry deserts of Inner Mongolia and the Qaidam Basin in Qinghai.
The sustainability of regional rural development depends on the integrated status and the coordination between rural resources-environment conditions and rural socioeconomic development. In this paper a diagnostic indicator system is proposed to appraise four representative rural development models such as Mentougou model, Taicang model, Yueqing model and Qionghai model in the eastern coastal region of China from the integrated perspective of population, resources, environment, and development. In conclusion, the formation and evolution of these diverse rural development models are the direct response to the very different characteristics in the environment, market demand, and regional culture. These models are common in that their sustainability depends on the scientific guidance of the regional development functional positioning, strong intra-regional interactions, and self-adaptability to the external conditions.