Detailed analysis of Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) using remote sensing data in complex irrigated basins provides complete profile for better water resource management and planning. Using remote sensing data, this study provides detailed land use maps of the Lower Chenab Canal irrigated region of Pakistan from 2005 to 2012 for LULC change detection. Major crop types are demarcated by identifying temporal profiles of NDVI using MODIS 250 m × 250 m spatial resolution data. Wheat and rice are found to be major crops in rabi and kharif seasons, respectively. Accuracy assessment of prepared maps is performed using three different techniques: error matrix approach, comparison with ancillary data and with previous study. Producer and user accuracies for each class are calculated along with kappa coefficients (K). The average overall accuracies for rabi and kharif are 82.83% and 78.21%, respectively. Producer and user accuracies for individual class range respectively between 72.5% to 77% and 70.1% to 84.3% for rabi and 76.6% to 90.2% and 72% to 84.7% for kharif. The K values range between 0.66 to 0.77 for rabi with average of 0.73, and from 0.69 to 0.74 with average of 0.71 for kharif. LULC change detection indicates that wheat and rice have less volatility of change in comparison with both rabi and kharif fodders. Transformation between cotton and rice is less common due to their completely different cropping conditions. Results of spatial and temporal LULC distributions and their seasonal variations provide useful insights for establishing realistic LULC scenarios for hydrological studies.
Hydrological processes were compared, with and without the influence of precipitation on discharge, to identify the differences between glacierized and non-glacierized catchments in the Urumqi River source region, on the northern slope of the eastern Tianshan Mountains, during the melting season (May-September) in 2011. The study was based on hydrological data observed at 10-min intervals, meteorological data observed at 15-min intervals, and glacier melting and snow observations from the Empty Cirque, Zongkong, and Urumqi Glacier No.1 gauging stations. The results indicated that the discharge differed markedly among the three gauging stations. The daily discharge was more than the nightly discharge at the Glacier No.1 gauging station, which contrasted with the patterns observed at the Zongkong and Empty Cirque gauging stations. There was a clear daily variation in the discharge at the three gauging stations, with differences in the magnitude and duration of the peak discharge. When precipitation was not considered, the time-lags between the maximum discharge and the highest temperature were 1-3 h, 10-16 h, and 5-11 h at the Glacier No.1, Empty Cirque, and Zongkong gauging stations, respectively. When precipitation was taken into consideration, the corresponding time-lags were 0-1 h, 13 h, and 6-7 h, respectively. Therefore, the duration from the generation of discharge to confluence was the shortest in the glacierized catchment and the longest in the catchment where was mainly covered by snow. It was also shown that the hydrological process from the generation of discharge to confluence shortened when precipitation was considered. The factors influencing changes in the discharge among the three gauging stations were different. For Glacier No.1 station, the discharge was mainly controlled by heat conditions in the glacierized region, and the discharge displayed an accelerated growth when the temperature exceeded 5°C in the melt season. It was found that the englacial and subglacial drainage channel of Glacier No.1 had become simpler during the past 20 years. Its weaker retardance and storage of glacier melting water resulted in rapid discharge confluence. It was also shown that the discharge curve and the time-lag between the maximum discharge and the highest temperature could be used to reveal the evolution of the drainage system and the process of glacier and snow melting at different levels of glacier coverage.
Ecosystem services are substantial elements for human society. The central challenge to meet the human needs from ecosystems while sustain the Earth’s life support systems makes it urgent to enhance efficient natural resource management for sustainable ecological and socioeconomic development. Trade-off analysis of ecosystem services can help to identify optimal decision points to balance the costs and benefits of the diverse human uses of ecosystems. In this sense, the aim of this paper is to provide key insights into ecosystem services trade-off analysis at different scales from a land use perspective, by comprehensively reviewing the trade-offs analysis tools and approaches that addressed in ecology, economics and other fields. The review will significantly contribute to future research on trade-off analysis to avoid inferior management options and offer a win-win solution based on comprehensive and efficient planning for interacting multiple ecosystem services.
GIMMS (Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies) NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) from 1982 to 2006 and MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) NDVI from 2001 to 2010 were blended to extract the grass coverage and analyze its spatial pattern. The response of grass coverage to climatic variations at annual and monthly time scales was analyzed. Grass coverage distribution had increased from northwest to southeast across China. During 1982-2010, the mean nationwide grass coverage was 34% but exhibited apparent spatial heterogeneity, being the highest (61.4%) in slope grasslands and the lowest (17.1%) in desert grasslands. There was a slight increase of the grass coverage with a rate of 0.17% per year. Increase in slope grasslands coverage was as high as 0.27% per year, while in the plain grasslands and meadows the grass coverage increase was the lowest (being 0.11% per year and 0.1% per year, respectively). Across China, the grass coverage with extremely significant increase (P<0.01) and significant increase (P<0.05) accounted for 46.03% and 11% of the total grassland area, respectively, while those with extremely significant and significant decrease accounted for only 4.1% and 3.24%, respectively. At the annual time scale, there are no significant correlations between grass coverage and annual mean temperature and precipitation. However, the grass coverage was somewhat affected by temperature in alpine and sub-alpine grassland, alpine and sub-alpine meadow, slope grassland and meadow, while grass coverage in desert grassland and plain grassland was more affected by precipitation. At the monthly time-scale, there are significant correlations between grass coverage with both temperature and precipitation, indicating that the grass coverage is more affected by seasonal fluctuations of hydrothermal conditions. Additionally, there is one-month time lag-effect between grass coverage and climate factors for each grassland types.
The Yangtze delta’s response to accelerating river damming and irrigation is a topic of global concern. This research analyzed the general erosion-accretion of the submerged delta front, the spatio-temporal changing pattern in different sub-regions, the geomorphological changes in typical cross-sections, and the geomorphological causes of the four main sub-regions (the eastern tidal wetland of Chongming-CM, the Hengsha shoal-HS, the Jiuduansha wetland-JDS, and the eastern tidal wetland of Nanhui-NH). Data sources include topographic data measured at high-resolution, sediment load at Datong Station, and the corresponding estuary construction information. Major findings are: (1) in general, the study area had slightly eroded (the erosion area ratio was 51.83% and the accretion area ratio was 48.17%) from 1982 to 2010, and it had experienced a shift of “erosion-accretion- erosion”. The spatio-temporal change of geomorphology was also significant in the eight sub-regions, excluding constant erosion in the North Channel; (2) evolution in eastern and northern CM and HS, northern JDS, and the region within the 5 m isobath of NH was dominated by vertical deposition, which was the opposite of that in southern CM and HS, and the region within the 5 m isobath of eastern and southern JDS; (3) on the whole, the encompassed surface areas (ESAs) of the 2 m and 5 m isobaths kept increasing, and the annual growth rates reached 10.42 km2/yr and 7.99 km2/yr respectively during 1982-2010 (however, four sub-regions exhibited disagreements), and in the whole region and all sub-regions, the ESA of the 10 m isobath decreased, while the ESA of the 15 m isobath changed slightly during the period and remained stable; (4) being less influenced by the estuarine engineering, CM was the only sub-region where the ESA of the isobath decreased in accordance with the decline of the sediment load. Major conclusions are that estuarine engineering projects play an increasingly important role in affecting the submerged delta against the macro-background of the reduction of sediment load, the change of ESA and the distribution of isobaths. Along with the accelerating construction of the Shanghai International Shipping Centre and reclamation project, the geomorphological evolution of the submerged delta will become more complex and thus deserves frequent monitoring in the future.
The heating effect (or mass elevation effect, MEE) of the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is intense due to its massive body. Some studies have been undertaken on its role as the heat source in summer and its implications for Asian climate, but little has been known of the implications of its MEE for the distribution of mountain altitudinal belts (MABs). Using air temperature data observed and remotely sensed data, MAB/treeline data, and ASTER GDEM data, this paper compares the height of MABs and alpine treelines in the main TP and the surrounding mountains/lowland and explains the difference from the point of view of MEE. The results demonstrate: 1) at same elevation, air temperature and the length of growing season gradually increase from the eastern edge to the interior TP, e.g., at 4500 m (corresponding to the mean altitude of the TP), the monthly mean temperature is 3.58°C higher (April) to 6.63°C higher (June) in the interior plateau than in the Sichuan Basin; the 10°C isotherm for the warmest month goes upward from the edge to the interior of the plateau, at 4000 m in the Qilian Mts. and the eastern edges of the plateau, and up to 4600-5000 m in Lhasa and Zuogong; the warmth index at an altitude of 4500 m can be up to 15°C·month in the interior TP, but much lower at the eastern edges. 2) MABs and treeline follow a similar trend of rising inwards: dark-coniferous forest is 1000-1500 m higher and alpine steppe is about 700-900 m higher in the interior TP than at the eastern edges.
The objective of this study was to investigate the concentration and spatial distribution patterns of 9 potentially toxic heavy metal elements (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Pb, Cu, Zn, Mn, and Ni) in road dust in the Bayan Obo Mining Region in Inner Mongolia, China. Contamination levels were evaluated using the geoaccumulation index and the enrichment factor. Human health risks for each heavy metal element were assessed using a human exposure model. Results showed that the dust contained significantly elevated heavy metal elements concentrations compared with the background soil. The spatial distribution pattern of all tested metals except for As coincided with the locations of industrial areas while the spatial distribution of As was associated with domestic sources. The contamination evaluation indicated that Cd, Pb, and Mn in road dust mainly originated from anthropogenic sources with a rating of “heavily polluted” to “extremely polluted,” whereas the remaining metals originated from both natural and anthropogenic sources with a level of “moderately polluted”. The non-cancer health risk assessment showed that ingestion was the primary exposure route for all metals in the road dust and that Mn, Cr, Pb, and As were the main contributors to non-cancer risks in both children and adults. Higher HI values were calculated for children (HI=1.89), indicating that children will likely experience higher health risks compared with adults (HI=0.23). The cancer risk assessment showed that Cr was the main contributor, with cancer risks which were 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than those for other metals. Taken in concert, the non-cancer risks posed by all studied heavy metal elements and the cancer risks posed by As, Co, Cr, Cd, and Ni to both children and adults in Bayan Obo Mining Region fell within the acceptable range.
Modern physical geography in China grew from Chinese traditional geography and has been profoundly influenced by the geographical disciplines of Euro-America and Russia. Since the 1950s, integrated studies of physical geography in China have made remarkable progress in the fields of comprehensive physical geographical regionalization, land studies, landscape ecology, and land surface geographical processes. During the past few decades, under the background of global change and rapid socio-economic transformation, a series of environmental and resources problems have boomed in China. To solve these problems and promote the development of integrated studies of physical geography, the following issues were proposed as research priorities: (1) coupling of land surface patterns and processes; (2) integrated research on regional responses and adaptation to global change; (3) analysis of human dimensions of the earth system; (4) ecosystem service research from a geographical perspective; (5) integration of multi-source data and model development; (6) integrated studies on unique geographical units; and (7) important global issues and relevant international programs.
The objective of this study is to quantitatively evaluate Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data with rain gauge data and further to use this TRMM data to drive a Distributed Time-Variant Gain Model (DTVGM) to perform hydrological simulations in the semi-humid Weihe River catchment in China. Before the simulations, a comparison with a 10-year (2001-2010) daily rain gauge data set reveals that, at daily time step, TRMM rainfall data are better at capturing rain occurrence and mean values than rainfall extremes. On a monthly time scale, good linear relationships between TRMM and rain gauge rainfall data are found, with determination coefficients R2 varying between 0.78 and 0.89 for the individual stations. Subsequent simulation results of seven years (2001-2007) of data on daily hydrological processes confirm that the DTVGM when calibrated by rain gauge data performs better than when calibrated by TRMM data, but the performance of the simulation driven by TRMM data is better than that driven by gauge data on a monthly time scale. The results thus suggest that TRMM rainfall data are more suitable for monthly streamflow simulation in the study area, and that, when the effects of recalibration and the results for water balance components are also taken into account, the TRMM 3B42-V7 product has the potential to perform well in similar basins.
Rural tourism has become an important driving force of rural urbanization in China. As the main reception base and important tourism attraction, tourism village is the core element of the tourism destination system. Integrating the method of PRA (Participatory Rural Assessment), GIS technology and high-resolution remote sensing images, this study aims to analyze the spatial morphology evolution of rural settlements induced by tourism through a comparative study of three tourism villages in Yesanpo tourism area. The results suggest the emergence of a “core-periphery” pattern of the spatial evolution of rural settlements. The closer to the core scenic spot, the higher degree of land-use intensity the village shows, as well as the more mature tourism function and greater change in landscape pattern. In particular, Gougezhuang shows an increase of the floor area ratio from 0.17 to 0.44, with the most mature tourism function and the lowest authenticity index of 0.448. Liujiahe has gone through the largest increase in construction land area from 17.3564 ha to 34.1128 ha, with moderately mature tourism function and relatively stable authenticity index of 0.566. Shangzhuang has the lowest construction land scale and intensity, with the poorest tourism function and most well-preserved landscape authenticity index of 0.942. Overall, in terms of the spatial morphology, the three villages show the characteristics of “modern town”, “semi-urbanization” and “traditional village” respectively, in corresponding to three land development types: “intensive reconstruction type”, “enclave extension type” and “in situ utilization type”. The spatial evolution patterns of these three villages imply the spatial characteristics of the touristization of traditional villages in different stages, and also have great representative value for the management of rural settlements in tourism areas in China.
China has been experiencing an unprecedented urbanization process. In 2011, China’s urban population reached 691 million with an urbanization rate of 51.27%. Urbanization level is expected to increase to 70% in China in 2030, reflecting the projection that nearly 300 million people would migrate from rural areas to urban areas over this period. At the same time, the total fertility rate of China’s population is declining due to the combined effect of economic growth, environmental carrying capacity, and modern social consciousness. The Chinese government has loosened its “one-child policy” gradually by allowing childbearing couples to have the second child as long as either of them is from a one-child family. In such rapidly developing country, the natural growth and spatial migration will consistently reshape spatial pattern of population. An accurate prediction of the future spatial pattern of population and its evolution trend are critical to key policy-making processes and spatial planning in China including urbanization, land use development, ecological conservation and environmental protection. In this paper, a top-down method is developed to project the spatial distribution of China’s future population with considerations of both natural population growth at provincial level and the provincial migration from 2010 to 2050. Building on this, the spatial pattern and evolution trend of Chinese provincial population are analyzed. The results suggested that the overall spatial pattern of Chinese population will be unlikely changed in next four decades, with the east area having the highest population density and followed by central area, northeast and west area. Four provinces in the east, Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and Jiangsu, will remain the top in terms of population density in China, and Xinjiang, Qinghai and Tibet will continue to have the lowest density of population. We introduced an index system to classify the Chinese provinces into three categories in terms of provincial population densities: Fast Changing Populated Region (FCPR), Low Changing Populated Region (LCPR) and Inactive Populated Region (IPR). In the FCPR, China’s population is projected to continue to concentrate in net immigration leading type (NILT) area where receives nearly 99% of new accumulated floating population. Population densities of Shanghai, Beijing, Zhejiang will peak in 2030, while the population density in Guangdong will keep increasing until 2035. Net emigration leading type (NELT) area will account for 75% of emigration population, including Henan, Anhui, Chongqing and Hubei. Natural growth will play a dominant role in natural growth leading type area, such as Liaoning and Shandong, because there will be few emigration population. Due to the large amount of moving-out labors and gradually declining fertility rates, population density of the LCPR region exhibits a downward trend, except for Fujian and Hainan. The majority of the western provinces will be likely to remain relatively low population density, with an average value of no more than 100 persons per km2.
Based on daily average temperatures and observation data from 74 meteorological stations in Chinese oases, we calculate five-day (pentad) average temperature ≤0℃ for the start and end pentad as well as pentads of cold period using linear regression analysis, nonparametric Mann-Kendall tests, the Morlet wavelet power spectrum, and correlation analysis. We also analyze spatial and temporal variations and their effects on the start and end pentad as well as pentads of cold period in Chinese oases. Results show that over the last 55 years, the start pentad of cold period has been postponed while the end pentad has been advanced. Overall, the pentads have gradually shortened over time at trend rates that are 0.3 p/10a, -0.27 p/10a, and -0.58 p/10a, respectively. Spatial differences are significant, especially for the Qaidam Basin oasis where the start pentad is the earliest, the end pentad is the latest, and the trend of change is most obvious. Mutation points for the start and end pentad as well as pentads of cold period were observed in 1990, 1998, and 1994, respectively. Of these, the start pentad and pentads of cold period show a periodic cycle, related to atmospheric circulation and El Nino events, while the end pentad exhibits a periodic cycle, related to solar activity. The Tibetan Plateau index (TPI), the Asian polar vortex area index (APVAI), and carbon dioxide emissions (CDE) are the main factors affecting cold period in the study area, whereas the South Asian summer monsoon (SASM) index exerts the greatest effect on the Qaidam Basin oasis. The start and end pentad as well as pentads of cold period increase in concert with latitude, longitude, and altitude; in response to these changes, the start pentad is advanced, the end pentad is postponed, and pentads of cold period are gradually extended. Results show that change in latitude is most significant. Overall, the start and end pentad as well as pentads of cold period show clear responses to regional warming, but there are different effects on each.
Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) is the energy source of plant photosynthesis, and the diffuse component can enhance canopy light use efficiency, thereby increasing the carbon uptake. Therefore, diffuse PAR is an important driving factor of ecosystem productivity models. In this study, we estimated the diffuse PAR of over 700 meteorological sites in China from 1981 to 2010 using an empirical model based on observational data from Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN) and China Meteorology Administration. Then we derived the spatial data set of 10 km monthly diffuse PAR using ANUSPLIN software, and analyzed the spatiotemporal variation characteristics of diffuse PAR through GIS and trend analysis techniques. The results showed that: (1) The spatial patterns of annual average diffuse PAR during 1981-2010 are heterogeneous across China, lower in the northeast and higher in the west and south. The nationwide average value for 30 years ranges from 6.66 mol m-2 d-1 to 15.27 mol m-2 d-1, and the value in summer is the biggest while the value in winter is the smallest. (2) There is an evident increasing trend of annual diffuse PAR during recent 30 years, with the increasing amplitude at 0.03 mol m-2 d-1/10a. But a significant declining trend is shown in the first 10 years, and obvious anomalies can be seen in 1982, 1983, 1991 and 1992. And there is a downtrend in spring and an uptrend in all the other seasons. (3) The spatial distribution of temporal variation rates of diffuse PAR is inhomogeneous across the country, generally decreasing in the north and increasing in the south.
Geomorphology is one of the main subdisciplines of geography. The research achievements and prospects in geomorphology have received considerable attention for a long time. In this paper, a general retrospect of geomorphologic research in China over the past 60 years was firstly addressed, especially the research progress during the last 40 years. Based on a summary of experience and a tendency of development, perspectives of geomorphologic research direction in the future were provided. It is concluded that the discipline of geomorphology has made great progress in the aspects of geomorphologic types, regionalization, as well as their subdisciplines such as dynamic geomorphology, tectonic geomorphology, climatic geomorphology, lithological geomorphology, palaeogeomorphology. We believe that persisting in the unity principle between morphological and genetic types would be conductive for the development of traditional landforms and integrated landforms. In addition, five perspectives aim to enhance China’s geomorphologicl research capacity were proposed. They are: (1) strengthening the research of basic geomorphologic theory and the research of integrated geomorphology to expand the research space; (2) focusing more on the research of geomorphologic structure and geomorphologic function to improve the application ability of geomorphology; (3) constructing a comprehensive resource, environmental, and geomorphologic information system and building a sharing platform to upgrade the intelligent information industry of geomorphology; (4) putting more efforts on the research of coastal geomorphology and marine geomorphology to assist the transformation of China from a maritime country to an ocean power; and (5) cultivating talents and constructing research teams to maintain a sustainable development of China’s geomorphologic research.
This study has revealed spatial-temporal changes in Recreational Business Districts (RBDs) in Beijing and examined the relationship between the location of urban RBDs and traffic conditions, resident and tourist density, scenic spots, and land prices. A more reasonable classification of urban RBDs (LSC, CPS, and ULA) is also proposed. Quantitative methods such as Gini Coefficient, Spatial Interpolation, Kernel Density Estimation, and Geographical Detector were employed to collect and analyze the data from three types of urban RBDs in Beijing in 1990, 2000, and 2014, respectively, and the spatial-temporal patterns as well as the distribution characteristics of urban RBDs were analyzed using ArcGIS software. It was concluded that (1) both the number and scale of urban RBDs in Beijing have been expanding and the trend for all types of urban RBDs in Beijing to be spatially agglomerated is continuing; (2) the spatial-temporal evolution pattern of urban RBDs in Beijing is “single-core agglomeration-dual-core agglomeration-multi-core diffusion”; and (3) urban RBDs were always located in areas with low traffic density, tourist attractions, high resident and tourist population density, and relatively high land valuations; these factors also affect the scale size of RBDs.
Based on field-survey hydrological series in the Dongting Lake watershed from 1951 to 2011, the variations of lakebed sediment siltation/erosion (S/E) regimes of the Dongting Lake after the operation of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) were analyzed. Significantly positive correlations were found between the flow rate from Zhicheng and the Three Outlets (r2=0.859, p<0.0001), and between the flow rate and sediment delivery rate at the Three Outlets (r2=0.895, p<0.0001). This indicated that the flow rate and sediment delivery rate at the Three Outlets were largely determined by the flow rate from the upstream Yangtze River. Sediment deposition amount in the Dongting Lake basin dropped from +4796.4×104 t during the period before the operation of TGR (1999-2002) to +684.1×104 t, +449.8×104 t and -559.6×104 t during the impoundment Phases I, II and III of TGR. The S/E regimes changed from a siltation-dominant to an erosion-dominant state under the pre-discharge, water-storage and water-supplement dispatch over the impoundment from Phase I to III. The sediment deposition amount decreased dramatically under the flood-storage dispatch over the impoundment Phase I to III. The estimated annual mean flow rate, sediment delivery rate and sediment concentration thresholds were respectively 970.81 m3/s, 466.82 kg/s and 0.481 kg/m3 for the upstream Three Outlets to maintain an erosion-dominant state in the downstream linked the Dongting Lake.
China has witnessed unprecedented urbanization over the past decades. The rapid expansion of urban population has been dominantly contributed by the floating population from rural areas, of which the spatiotemporal patterns, driving forces, and multidimensional effects are scrutinized and evaluated in this study by using the latest national censuses conducted in 2000 and 2010. Analysis based on the county-level data comes to conclusions as follows. The spatial pattern of floating population has remained stable over the first decade of the new century. The top 1% cities with the largest floating population received 45.5% of all migrants in China. As the rapid development of mega-city regions, the coastal concentration areas of floating population tended to geographically united as a whole, whereas the spatial distribution of migrants within each region varied significantly. The migrant concentration area in the Yangtze River Delta was the largest and its expansion was also the most salient. However, the floating population has growingly moved into provincial capitals and other big cities in the inland regions and its gravity center has moved northward for around 110 km during the study period. The spatial pattern of floating population has been formed jointly by the state and market forces in transitional China and the impacts of state forces have been surpassed by those of market forces in the country as a whole. The attractiveness of coastal cities and counties to the floating population comes mainly from the nonagricultural employment opportunities and public services, reflecting that long-distance and long-term migrants have moved coastward not only to gain employment but also to enjoy city life. By contrast, in the central and western regions, places with a higher economic development level and at a higher administrative level are more attractive to floating populations, demonstrating that the state remains to play an important role in allocating economic resources and promoting regional development in inland China. As the main body of new urban residents, the floating population has contributed substantially to the elevation of the urbanization levels of migrant-sending and -receiving places, by 20.0% and 49.5% respectively. Compared with extensively investigated interprovincial migrants, intra-provincial migrants have higher intention and ability to permanently live in cities and thus might become the main force of China’s urbanization in the coming decades. The internal migration has also reshaped China’s urban system in terms of its hierarchical organization and spatial structure.
Based on the daily reanalysis data released by NCEP/NCAR and the daily precipitation of 753 Chinese stations from May to August during the period of 1960 to 2012, the statistical characteristics of the cold vortex in northeastern China were analyzed. In addition, the strength index, which described the characteristics of the vortex consistently and frequently, and the geographical distribution were given by continuous anomalies of circulation. Based on this index, the activity routines of the cold vortex, characteristics of atmospheric circulation, and their effects on precipitation in northeastern China were analyzed. The results show that: the activities of the cold vortex exhibit remarkable features of annual and interdecadal oscillation, and the vortex high frequency and its characteristics of atmospheric circulation are described more accurately by the strength index of the cold vortex, which shows a high correspondence with the vortex precipitation during early summer and midsummer in the northeast. In strong (weak) vortex years, the general circulation in the middle and high latitudes of Eurasia is to the advantage (disadvantage) of the formation, development and maintenance of the cold vortex, thus it is easy (difficult) to form the circulation which is beneficial to transmit vapor from south to north during the period of July to August. Blocking over the Ural Mountains prevails (does not prevail) in early summer, and blocking over the Sea of Okhotsk prevails (does not prevail) in midsummer. Areas where the subtropical high is too small (large) and moves toward the north too late (early) are better (worse) for the maintenance of the cold vortex in northeastern China.
The Heihe River Basin is the second largest inland river basin in Northwest China and it is also a hotspot in arid hydrology, water resources and other aspects of researches in cold regions. In addition, the Heihe River Basin has complete landscape, moderate watershed size, and typical social ecological environmental problems. So far, there has been no detailed assessment of glaciers change information of the whole river basin. 1:50,000 topographic map data, Landsat TM/ETM+ remote sensing images and digital elevation model data were used in this research. Through integrated computer automatic interpretation and visual interpretation methods, the object-oriented image feature extraction method was applied to extract glacier outline information. Glaciers change data were derived from analysis, and the glacier variation and its response to climate change in the period 1956/1963-2007/ 2011 were also analyzed. The results show that: (1) In the period 1956/1963-2007/2011, the Heihe River Basin’s glaciers had an evident retreat trend, the total area of glaciers decreased from 361.69 km2 to 231.17 km2; shrinking at a rate of 36.08%, with average single glacier area decrease 0.14 km2; the total number of the glaciers decreased from 967 to 800. (2) Glaciers in this basin are mainly distributed at elevations of 4300-4400 m, 4400-4500 m and 4500-4600 m; and there are significant regional differences in glaciers distribution and glaciers change. (3) Compared with other western mountain glaciers, glaciers retreat in the Heihe River Basin has a higher rate. (4) Analysis of the six meteorological stations’ annual average temperature and precipitation data from 1960 to 2010 suggests that the mean annual temperature increased significantly and the annual precipitation also showed an increasing trend. It is concluded that glacier shrinkage is closely related with temperature rising, besides, glacier melting caused by rising temperatures greater than glacier mass supply by increased precipitation to some extent.
The Conversion of Land Use and its Effects at Small regional extent (CLUE-S) model is a widely used method to simulate land use change. An ordinary logistic regression model was integrated into the CLUE-S model to identify explanatory variables without considering the spatial autocorrelation effect. Using image-derived maps of the Changsha- Zhuzhou-Xiangtan urban agglomeration, the CLUE-S model was integrated with the ordinary logistic regression and autologistic regression models in this paper to simulate land use change in 2000, 2005 and 2009 based on an observation map from 1995. Significant positive spatial autocorrelation was detected in residuals of ordinary logistic models. Some variables that were much more significant than they should be were selected. Autologistic regression models, which used autocovariate incorporation, were better able to identify driving factors. The Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve (ROC) values of autologistic regression models were larger than 0.8 and the pseudo R2 values were improved, compared with results of logistic regression model. By overlapping the observation maps, the Kappa values of the ordinary logistic regression model (OL)-CLUE-S and autologistic regression model (AL)-CLUE-S models were larger than 0.75. The results showed that the simulation results were indeed accurate. The Kappa fuzzy (Kfuzzy) values of the AL-CLUE-S models (0.780, 0.773, 0.606) were larger than the values of the OL-CLUE-S models (0.759, 0.760, 0.599) during the three periods. The AL-CLUE-S models performed better than the OL-CLUE-S models in the simulation of land use change. The results showed that it is reasonable to integrate autocovariates into CLUE-S models. However, the Kfuzzy values decreased with prolonged duration of simulation and the maximum range of time was not discussed in this paper.
Eddy Covariance technique (EC) achieves the direct measurement on ecosystem carbon, nitrogen and water fluxes, and it provides scientific data for accurately assessing ecosystem functions in mitigating global climate change. This paper briefly reviewed the construction and development of Chinese terrestrial ecosystem flux observation and research network (ChinaFLUX), and systematically introduced the design principle and technology of the terrestrial ecosystem carbon, nitrogen and water fluxes coordinated observation system of ChinaFLUX. In addition, this paper summarized the main progress of ChinaFLUX in the ecosystem carbon, nitrogen and water exchange and environmental controlling mechanisms, the spatial pattern of carbon, nitrogen and water fluxes and biogeographical mechanisms, and the regional terrestrial ecosystem carbon budget assessment. Finally, the prospects and emphases of the terrestrial ecosystem carbon, nitrogen and water fluxes coordinated observation of ChinaFLUX are put forward to provide theoretical references for the development of flux observation and research in China.
Accompanying the rapid growth of China’s population and economy, energy consumption and carbon emission increased significantly from 1978 to 2012. China is now the largest energy consumer and CO2 emitter of the world, leading to much interest in researches on the nexus between energy consumption, carbon emissions and low-carbon economy. This article presents the domestic Chinese studies on this hotpot issue, and we obtain the following findings. First, most research fields involve geography, ecology and resource economics, and research contents contained some analysis of current situation, factors decomposition, predictive analysis and the introduction of methods and models. Second, there exists an inverted “U-shaped” curve connection between carbon emission, energy consumption and economic development. Energy consumption in China will be in a low-speed growth after 2035 and it is expected to peak between 6.19-12.13 billion TCE in 2050. China’s carbon emissions are expected to peak in 2035, or during 2020 to 2045, and the optimal range of carbon emissions is between 2.4-3.3 PgC/year (1 PgC=1 billion tons C) in 2050. Third, future research should be focused on global carbon trading, regional carbon flows, reforming the current energy structure, reducing energy consumption and innovating the low-carbon economic theory, as well as establishing a comprehensive theoretical system of energy consumption, carbon emissions and low-carbon economy.
China is distinguished by a prominent monsoonal climate in the east of the country, a continental arid climate in the northwest and a highland cold climate on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Because of the long history of Chinese civilization, there are abundant and well-dated documentary records for climate variation over the whole of the country as well as many natural archives (e.g., tree-rings, ice cores, stalagmites, varved lake sediments and corals) that enable high-resolution paleoclimatic reconstruction. In this paper, we review recent advances in the reconstruction of climate and extreme events over the last 2000 years in China. In the last 10 years, many new reconstructions, based on multi-proxies with wide spatial coverage, have been published in China. These reconstructions enable us to understand the characteristics of climate change across the country as well as the uncertainties of regional reconstructions. Synthesized reconstructed temperature results show that warm intervals over the last 2000 years occurred in AD 1-200, AD 551-760, AD 951-1320, and after AD 1921, and also show that cold intervals were in AD 201-350, AD 441-530, AD 781-950, and AD 1321-1920. Extreme cold winters, seen between 1500 and 1900, were more frequent than those after 1950. The intensity of regional heat waves, in the context of recent global warming, may not in fact exceed natural climate variability seen over the last 2000 years. In the eastern monsoonal region of China, decadal, multi-decadal and centennial oscillations are seen in rainfall variability. While the ensemble mean for drought/flood spatial patterns across all cold periods shows a meridional distribution, there is a tri-pole pattern with respect to droughts south of 25°N, floods between 25° and 30°N, and droughts north of 30°N for all warm periods. Data show that extreme drought events were most frequent in the periods AD 301-400, AD 751-800, AD 1051-1150, AD 1501-1550, and AD 1601-1650, while extreme flood events were frequent in the periods AD 101-150, AD 251-300, AD 951-1000, AD 1701-1750, AD 1801-1850, and AD 1901-1950. Between AD 1551-1600, extreme droughts and flood events occurred frequently. In arid northwest China, climate was characterized by dry conditions in AD 1000-1350, wet conditions in AD 1500-1850, and has tended to be wet over recent decades. On the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, centennial-scale oscillations in precipitation have occurred over the last 1000 years, interrupted by several multi- decadal-scale severe drought events. Of these, the most severe were in the 1480s and 1710s. In southwest China, extreme droughts as severe as those seen in Sichuan and Chongqing in 2006 are known to have occurred during historical times.
Global warming has been one of the major concerns behind the world’s high-speed economic growth. How to implement the coordinated development of the carbon footprint and the economy will be the core issue of the world’s economic and social development, as well as the heated debate of the research at home and abroad in recent years. Based on the energy consumption, integrated with the “Top-Down” life cycle approach and geographically weighted regression (GWR) model, this paper analyzed the spatial differences and multi-mechanism of carbon footprint in provincial China in 2010. Firstly, this study calculated the amount of carbon footprint of each province using “Top-Down” life cycle approach and found that there were significant differences of carbon footprint and per capita carbon footprint in provincial China. The provinces with higher carbon footprint, mainly located in northern China, have large economic scales; the provinces with higher per capita carbon footprint are mainly distributed in central cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and energy-rich regions and heavy chemical bases. Secondly, with the aid of GIS and spatial analysis model (GWR model), this paper had unfolded that the expansion of economic scale is the main driver of the rapid growth of carbon footprint. The growth of population and urbanization also acted as promoting factors for the increase of the carbon footprint. Energy structure had no considerable promoting effect for the increase of the carbon footprint. Improving energy efficiency is the most important factor to inhibit the growing carbon footprint. Thirdly, developing low-carbon economies and low-carbon industries, as well as advocating low-carbon city construction and improving carbon efficiency would be the primary approaches to inhibit the rapid growth of carbon footprint. Moderately controlling the economic scale and population size would also be required to alleviate carbon footprint. Meanwhile, environmental protection and construction of low-carbon cities would evoke extensive attention in the process of urbanization.
Research has shown that there has been a significant change in the quantitative relationship between urbanization and economic development over the past 50 years. As a result of this change, the Chenery model is no longer capable of performing a comparative analysis of these parameters. We carried out a regression analysis of the normal form of the relation between urbanization and economic development on the basis of the Chenery model. We used empirical data from 149 countries and regions from 1990 to 2009 and adopted the double logarithmic model, introducing a time series variable for urbanization. From 1990 to 2009, with a per capita gross national income remaining between USD 1000 and 10,000, the urbanization rate changed from 17.78 to 60.36% and the relational matching data changed accordingly, although the upper limit of the rate of urbanization remained at about 75%. Urbanization in countries with a smaller population size was more affected by economic development than urbanization in countries with large and medium sized populations.
China’s reform and opening-up policy has brought the country a great development opportunity. The high-speed growth of the economy not only led China to a period of industrialization, urbanization, informatization and agricultural modernization, but also exacerbated the situation of the urban-rural dual structure. Based on the review of current studies, we first used the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method to evaluate the urban-rural development and transformation level by population transformation index, land transformation index, industrial transformation index and social transformation index between 1996 and 2012 around the Bohai Rim Region. Then, based on the results of each index, we used the exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA) method to investigate the spatial autocorrelation of the change in the urban-rural development transformation index during the 16-year period using Global Moran’s I index and Local Moran’s I index. Finally, we investigated the mechanism of change of the urban-rural development transformation index at county level, summarizing five main factors: (1) the radiation from the surrounding big cities, (2) the acceleration of the urbanization process, (3) the upgrading of the industrial structure, (4) the publishing and implementation of a macro development strategy and regional policy, and (5) natural factors such as topology.
Although the urgency of their conservation has been recognized, Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) since 2002 and China Nationally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (China- NIAHS) certified by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) of China since 2012 are faced with questions as to why to conserve them, what is to be conserved, who should conserve them, and how? This paper attempts to clarify and respond to such questions focusing on the conservation of agricultural heritage systems in China based on a review of both theoretical and practical progress. Agricultural heritage systems exhibit a multitude of values for sustainable and equitable development and therefore should be conserved for both present and future generations. Unlike most conventional heritages, the conservation of agricultural heritage systems is a complex, systematic “engineering” in which both physical and biological components and associated socio-cultural processes should be conserved in a dynamic way. Farmers and heritage sites must benefit from the continuance of traditional agricultural production under the premise of ecological functions being sustained and traditional culture being inherited. For a more effective conservation, a multi- stakeholder process should be established involving governments at different levels, multi-disciplinary scientists, communities and farmers, and business enterprises as well as social organizations. As has been demonstrated, the conservation of agricultural heritage systems aims to promote the regional sustainable development, to improve the livelihood, food security and well-being of farm people, and to provide references for the development of modern agriculture in China.
Urban agglomerations are an inevitable outcome of China’s new national industrialization and urbanization reaching relatively advanced stages of development over the past 30 years. In the early 2000s, urban agglomerations became new geographical units for participating in global competition and the international division of labor, and China has spent the past decade promoting them as the main spaces for pushing forward its new form of urbanization. The convening of the first Central Work Conference on Urbanization and the National New-type Urbanization Plan (2014-2020) further defined the status of urban agglomerations as the main players in promoting China’s new type of national urbanization. Nevertheless, urban agglomerations remain a weak link in Chinese academia and are in urgent need of study. Only 19 articles on the theme of urban agglomerations were published in the journal Acta Geographica Sinica between 1934 and 2013, accounting for only 0.55% of all articles written during that period. Not only are there very few, they have also all been published within a relatively short period of time, with the first having been published only 10 years ago. The studies are also concentrated among only a few authors and institutions, and research is aimed at national requirements but is rather divergent. Even so, some studies on urban agglomerations have played a leading role and made important contributions to dictating the overall formation of urban agglomerations nationwide. Specifically, a proposed spatial pattern for urban agglomerations formed the basic framework for the spatial structure of China’s urban agglomerations and guided the government to make urban agglomerations the main urban pattern when promoting the new type of urbanization; proposed standards and technologies for identifying the spatial dimensions of urban agglomerations played an important role in defining the scope of national urban agglomerations; a series of studies in the area of urban agglomerations spurred more in-depth and practical studies in the field; and studies on issues related to the formation and growth of urban agglomerations provided warnings on the future selection and development of urban agglomerations. Taking the progress and results of these studies as a foundation, the foci of selecting and developing urban agglomerations in China are as follows: to be problem-oriented and profoundly reflect on and review new problems exposed in the selection and development of urban agglomerations; to concentrate on urban agglomerations and lay importance on the formation of a new “5+9+6” spatial structure for China’s urban agglomerations; to rely on urban agglomerations and promote the formation of a new pattern of national urbanization along the main axes highlighted by urban agglomerations; to be guided by national strategic demand and continue to deepen understanding of major scientific issues in the course of the formation and development of urban agglomerations, including studying the resource and environmental effects of high-density urban agglomerations, scientifically examining resource and environmental carrying capacities of high-density urban agglomerations, creating new management systems and government coordination mechanisms for the formation and development of urban agglomerations, studying the establishment of public finance systems and public finance reserve mechanisms for urban agglomerations, and studying and formulating technical specifications for urban agglomeration planning and standards for delineating urban agglomeration boundaries.
Land urbanization plays an important supporting and restriction role in the rapid and sustainable development of urbanization in China, and it shows distinctive spatial heterogeneity. Applying urban area as the basic research unit and urban construction land area as the core indicator, this paper establishes the conceptual framework and calculation method for the quantity and rate of land urbanization process. The study evaluates the spatial differentiation pattern of absolute and relative process of land urbanization in 658 cities in China from 2000 to 2010. The spatial distribution of cities with rapid land urbanization process is discussed, and the contribution rate and its spatial heterogeneity of major land use types are examined with the aid of GIS. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) Land urbanization in China shows a clear spatial difference. The greater the city scale, the faster its land urbanization. The cities with rapid land urbanization show a significant pattern of central distribution in coastal regions and a scattered distribution in the inland regions. (2) Over the last 10 years, the average quantity of land urbanization in the 656 cities was 3.82 km2, the quantity of land urbanization is differentiated by administrative grade. The average rate of land urbanization was 6.89%, obviously faster than the speed of population urbanization. The rate of land urbanization reveals a pattern of differentiation between coastal and other cities. (3) In the past 10 years, the two primary land use types associated with land urbanization in China are residential and industrial, with a combined contribution rate of 52.49%. The greater the scale of the city, the more significant the driving effect of industrial land. In small- and medium-scale cities of the western and central regions, the growth of residential land is the primary driver of land urbanization, while in coastal urban agglomerations and cities on important communication axes, the growth of industrial land is the main driver. (4) Overall, urban population agglomeration, industrial growth and investment are the three drivers of land urbanization in China, but cities of different scales have different drivers.
Data of flood, drought, hailstorms, and low temperature events in Xinjiang from 1949 to 2012 were analyzed with the diffusion method to assess the risk of the most common types of disasters in Xinjiang. It was proved that the frequency and intensity of meteorological disasters of the study area showed an increasing trend associated with global warming. Among the four types of disasters, surpass probability of drought was the largest, followed by hailstorm, low temperature and flood in turn. Moreover, the wavelet method analysis revealed that greater oscillations had occurred since 2000, which may be associated with the occurrence of extreme climatic changes. The spatial distribution of frequencies reveals that the northern slope of Tianshan Mountains is a multiple disaster area, the southern slope of Tianshan is the area where more floods and hailstorms occur, and the west of Turpan-Hami Basin is the area wind is prevalent. The relationships between disaster-affected areas and corresponding meteorological and socio-economic indexes were also analyzed. It indicated that there were significant positive correlations between the areas affected and the most meteorological and socio-economic indicators except the grain acreage.