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.
Poverty is a key issue restricting rural sustainable development; concurrently, regional land degradation impedes agricultural development and rural revitalization. China faces severe land degradation and deepening rural poverty under the context of rapid urbanization. To address these challenges, sustainable land use is an important tool in our society’s economic development. Rural engineering, including rural land consolidation, reclamation, restoration, reallocation, improvement, and development, is the most direct and effective way to achieve rural sustainable poverty alleviation. This study clarifies the framework between land engineering and rural poverty alleviation, and introduces land engineering technologies, newly created land utilization practices, and the contributions to poverty alleviation in representative degraded land regions. Land engineering can increase land quantity, improve land quality, enhance land ecological function, and promote man-land system coupling. Further, it can erase rural poverty by increasing county revenue and households’ income, lead to industrial development, and improve living environment. Specifically, degraded sandy land, gully land, hollowed construction land, and barren hilly land are transformed into productive land by improving the land structure. Innovated land engineering technologies and sustainable land utilization modes can provide the basic theories and reference approaches for rural poverty alleviation. Identifying obstacles to effective land and corresponding engineering practices are crucial to regional land exploitation and development, improving quality of life and alleviating rural poverty.
The temporal-spatial distribution features of prehistoric cultures since the Holocene in Zhejiang region were comparatively analyzed based on GIS spatial analysis. Results show that the prehistoric cultures expanded gradually in this region before 4000 cal. a BP. The notable expansions occurred twice, one in the Majiabang-Hemudu cultural period, the other in the Liangzhu cultural period. Meanwhile, the prehistoric cultures were disseminated from west to east coast along river valleys. After 4000 cal. a BP, as represented by the Maqiao Culture, the distributed area of each prehistoric culture contracted. This is obviously due to the termination of spreading trends to east coast, which was simultaneously accompanied by two different modes of production and economic transitions in the north and south Zhejiang region respectively. The distribution of prehistoric cultures was closely related with Holocene sea-level fluctuations, especially on the banks of Hangzhou Bay, where the distribution changes of prehistoric cultural sites were greatly affected by sea-level changes, with the closest relationships between them. After 7000 cal. a BP, the process of lowered sea-level and regression-epeirogenesis provided wider terrestrial living spaces for prehistoric inhabitants. Based on the comparative analyses of the changes of prehistoric cultures and the environmental evolution information recorded in the Qianmutian subalpine peat of Mt. Tianmu and muddy area on the inner shelf of the East China Sea, it is indicated that the changes of prehistoric cultures were synchronized with environmental changes in Zhejiang region. Before 4000 cal. a BP, the eastward expansion of prehistoric cultures in Zhejiang occurred under the background of the Holocene Optimum, and was the expansion and extension under the joint influences of agricultural civilization and maritime civilization. However, after 4000 cal. a BP, the geographical contraction of prehistoric cultures in Zhejiang occurred under the background of dry-cold climate trend and deterioration of coastal marine environment. It is evidenced from the above fact that the development, expansion and contraction of prehistoric cultures are positively correlated to environmental change. The change of the climatic environment is just the underlying reason for these changes and transitions of production modes and economic forms. Therefore, the climatic environment is the dominant factor of prehistoric culture vicissitudes in Zhejiang region, which has exerted great influence on distribution, dissemination, expansion and transmutation of the culture.
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 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.
The urban vulnerability poses a serious challenge to achieving sustainable development. With the concentration of the population and the economy, cities must manage the higher frequencies and risks of various hazards and are becoming more vulnerable. Research on the assessment and regulatory control of urban vulnerability is of great significance for both urbanization quality improvement and sustainable development in China or other countries in the world. Because of the complexity of cities and vulnerability concepts, existing studies have focused on different aspects of urban vulnerability. And the research content of urban vulnerability is scattered and relatively independent, leading to a lack of comparability among the research data and resulting in tremendous difficulties in summarizing the conclusions through comparison of independent research data. Therefore the goal of this study was to construct urban vulnerability index (UVI) from the perspective of sustainable development that could assess urban vulnerability comprehensively. In this study, we selected 10 subindexes involving 36 specific parameters from four aspects (resources, eco-environmental systems, economics, and social development) to construct a comprehensive index system. We also established the standard values of measurements. Then we take 288 prefecture-level cities in China as a study area and evaluate its overall urban vulnerability and its spatial differentiation. Results indicate that urban vulnerability of China has a remarkable spatial differentiation of both “gradient distribution” and “clustered distribution”; the extent of urban vulnerability corresponds to city size, the bigger the city, the lower its vulnerability; resource-based cities are more vulnerable than comprehensive cities; a city’s economic growth rate does not reflect the extent of its urban vulnerability. Further, we offer a few suggestions to cope with urban vulnerability in China.
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.
Quantitative characterization of environmental characteristics of cropland (ECC) plays an important role in maintaining sustainable development of agricultural systems and ensuring regional food security. In this study, the changes in ECC over the Songnen Plain, a major grain crops production region in Northeast China, were investigated for the period 1990-2015. The results revealed significant changes in climate conditions, soil physical properties and cropland use patterns with socioeconomic activities. Trends in climate parameters showed increasing temperature (+0.49°C/decade, p < 0.05) and decreasing wind speed (-0.3 m/s/decade, p < 0.01) for the growing season, while sunshine hours and precipitation exhibited non-significant trends. Four topsoil parameters including soil organic carbon (SOC), clay, bulk density and pH, indicated deteriorating soil conditions across most of the croplands, although some do exhibited slight improvement. The changing amplitude for each of the four above parameters ranged within -0.052 to 0.029 kg C/kg, -0.38 to 0.30, -0.60 to 0.39 g/cm3, -3.29 to 2.34, respectively. Crop production significantly increased (44.0 million tons) with increasing sown area of croplands (~2.5 million ha) and fertilizer application (~2.5 million tons). The study reveals the dynamics of ECC in the Songnen Plain with intensive cultivation from 1990 to 2015. Population growth, economic development, and policy reform are shown to strongly influence the spatiotemporal changes in cropland characteristics. The study potentially provides valuable scientific information to support sustainable agroecosystem management in the context of global climate change and national socioeconomic development.
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.
Identifying the problem regions and regional problems, and thus improving regional policies, are crucial for the sustainable development of various economic entities. The coordinated development of industrialization, informatization, urbanization and agricultural modernization (hereinafter referred to as “Sihua”) is not only a practical need but an important strategic direction of integrating urban-rural development and regional development in recent China, and it also provides a significant perspective for identifying problem regions and regional problems so as to improve the regional policies. This study mainly aims to: firstly, establish a comprehensive evaluation index system so as to explore the spatial pattern of coordinated development of Sihua in China at prefecture level; secondly, to develop an evaluation criteria system to identify the problem regions and regional problems from the perspective of coordinated development of Sihua. This paper comes first in the scientific community to evaluate the coordinated development state of Sihua in China at prefecture level and identify the problem regions and regional problems from the perspective of Sihua development by quantitative analysis. This study may benefit the improvement of regional policies and thus contribute to the sustainable socio-economic development of China.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The traditional data envelopment analysis (DEA), bootstrap-DEA and Malmquist models are employed to measure different tourism efficiencies and their spatial characteristics of 61 cities in six coastal urban agglomerations in eastern China. The following conclusions are drawn. (1) The comprehensive efficiency (CE) of urban tourism using the bootstrap-DEA model is lower than the CE level using the DEA-CRS model, which confirms the significant tendency of the DEA-CRS model to overestimate results. (2) The geometric CE averages of urban tourism in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) have changed from ineffective to effective since 2000, the averages in the Beijing-Tianjin- Hebei (BTH) and the Shandong Peninsula (SDP) have changed from ineffective to moderately effective since 2000, and those in the Central and Southern Liaoning (CSL) and the West Bank of Taiwan Strait (WBTS) have been ineffective since 2000. (3) The CE values of urban tourism in the PRD, the YRD, the BTH and the SDP have been slightly affected by the pure technical efficiency (PTE), whereas the CE values in the CSL and the WBTS have been slightly affected by the scale efficiency (SE) since 2000. (4) Spatially, the range of geometric averages of the total factor productivity (TFP) for the PRD, the YRD, the BTH, the SDP, the WBTS and the CSL has decreased sequentially, while the one for most cities in six urban agglomerations has exhibited a downward trend since 2000. (5) Collectively, the natural conditions, the economic policies and the tourism capital drive the SE change of urban tourism of the CSL and the WBTS. The tourism enterprises for increasing returns to scale and imitating innovative technology have an effect on the CE change of urban tourism in the BTH and the SDP. The tourism market competition drives the PTE change of urban tourism in the PRD and the YRD. Although the PTE and the SE of urban tourism in six coastal urban agglomerations suffer from uncertain events, the CE maintained overall sound momentum since
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.
China is a disaster prone country, and a comprehensive understanding of change of disasters is very important for China’s agricultural development. In this study, statistical techniques and geographic information system tools are employed to quantify the main agriculture disasters changes and effects on grain production in China during the period of 1990-2011. The results show that China’s grain production was severely affected by disasters including drought, flood, hail, frost and typhoon. The annual area covered by these disasters reached up to 48.7×106 ha during the study period, which accounted for 44.8% of the total sown area, and about 55.1% of the per unit area grain yield change was caused by disasters. In addition, all of the disasters showed high variability, different changing trends, and spatial distribution. Drought, flood, and hail showed significantly decreasing trends, while frost and typhoon showed increasing trends. Drought and flood showed gradual changes and were distributed across the country, and disasters became more diversified from north to south. Drought was the dominated disaster type in northern China, while flood was the most important disaster type in the southern part. Hail was mainly observed in central and northern China, and frost was mainly distributed in southern China. Typhoon was greatly limited to the southeast coast. Furthermore, the resilience of grain production of each province was quite different, especially in several major grain producing areas, such as Shandong, Liaoning, Jilin and Jiangsu, where grain production was seriously affected by disasters. One reason for the difference of resilience of grain production was that grain production was marginalized in developed provinces when the economy underwent rapid development. For China’s agricultural development and grain security, we suggest that governments should place more emphasis on grain production, and invest more money in disaster prevention and mitigation, especially in the major grain producing provinces.
This paper analyzes the role of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in advancing human geography in China by focusing on five key research areas: land use, urban systems and urban agglomeration, economic globalization, climate change and social and cultural geographies. All NSFC-funded human geography programs related to these five topics from 1986 to 2017 comprise the sample for analysis, and the research topics, content, teams, and peer-reviewed journal publications supported by these programs are investigated. Specifically, this paper analyzes the NSFC’s promotion of the expansion of research topics in response to national developmental needs and the shifting frontiers of human geography research internationally, its enhancement of interdisciplinary research, and its contributions to the assembly of specialized research teams. The paper also reports important progress in Chinese human geography over the past 30 years through the institutional lens of the NSFC, revealing major characteristics and trends in the discipline. The paper concludes by calling for further collaboration between the research community and the NSFC for the development of a locally suitable and globally influential Chinese human geography.
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.
Using the dataset provided by the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program, we have extracted the large volcanic eruptions (volcanic explosivity index ≥ 4) from the period 1750-2010 and have then analyzed the main characteristics of large volcanic eruptions since 1750 according to their geographic latitudes, their elevations, and the years and months in which they occurred. The results show that most large volcanic eruptions were located around the margins of the Pacific Ocean and the islands of Sumatra and Java, especially in the equatorial regions (10°N-10°S). Large volcanic eruptions were concentrated at 1000-2000 m elevations and in the months of January and April. There were more eruptions in the summer half-year (from April to September) than in the winter half-year (from October to the next March). Large volcanic eruptions have interdecadal fluctuations, including cycles of 15-25 years and 35-50 years, which were detected by Morlet wavelet analysis, with the fluctuations being more frequent after 1870 than before. During the periods 1750-1760, 1776-1795, 1811-1830, 1871-1890, 1911-1920 and 1981-1995, there were relatively many large volcanic eruptions.
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.
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.
As one of the key issues in China’s sustainable development, rapid urbanization and continuous economic growth are accompanied by a steady increase of water consumption and a severe urban water crisis. A better understanding of the relationship among urbanization, economic growth and water use change is necessary for Chinese decision makers at various levels to address the positive and negative effects of urbanization. Thus, we established a complete decomposition model to quantify the driving effects of urbanization on economic growth and water use change for China and its 31 provincial administrative regions during the period of 1997-2011. The results show that, (1) China’s urbanization only contributed about 30% of the economic growth. Therefore, such idea as urbanization is the major driving force of economic growth may be weakened. (2) China’s urbanization increased 2352×108 m3 of water use by increasing the economic aggregate. However, it decreased 4530×108 m3 of water use by optimizing the industrial structure and improving the water use efficiency. Therefore, such idea as urbanization is the major driving force of water demand growth may be reacquainted. (3) Urbanization usually made greater contribution to economic and water use growth in the provincial administrative regions in east and central China, which had larger population and economic aggregate and stepped into the accelerating period of urbanization. However, it also made greater contribution to industrial structure optimization and water use efficiency improvement, and then largely decreased total water use. In total, urbanization had negative effects on water use growth in most provincial administrative regions in China, and the spatiotemporal differences among them were lessened on the whole. (4) Though urbanization helps to decrease water use for China and most provincial administrative regions, it may cause water crisis in urban built-up areas or urban agglomerations. Therefore, China should construct the water transfer and compensation mechanisms between urban and rural areas, or low and high density urban areas as soon as possible.
Rapid peri-urbanization has become a new challenge for sustainable urban-rural development worldwide. To clarify how unprecedented urban sprawl at the metropolitan fringe impacts urban-rural landscape, this study took the Beijing-Tianjin corridor of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei metropolitan area, one of the largest urban clusters in China, as a typical example. By using Landsat-based landscape metrics and a practical methodology, we investigated the landscape changes and discussed the potential reasons in the context of rapid peri-urbanization of China. Specifically, multi-temporal land use maps derived from Landsat images were used to calculate landscape metrics and analyze their characteristics along the urban-rural gradients. The practical methodology was used to monitor spatio-temporal characteristics of landscape change in large metropolitan areas. The results showed that landscape patterns in the area had changed greatly from 2000 to 2015 with characteristics of construction land sprawl and arable land shrinkage. The intensity and scale of landscape changes varied along the urban-rural gradients. Sampled plots in urbanized areas and rural areas demonstrated distinguishable landscape patterns and significant differences. Urban areas had more heterogeneous and fragmented landscapes than rural areas. Peri-urban areas in general experienced higher levels of land diversification than rural areas. Rural residential land appeared to be more aggregated near Beijing and Tianjin cities. Besides, our findings also indicated that urban expansion was largely responsible for landscape patterns. The findings of this study potentially provide strategical insights into landscape planning around mega cities and sustainable coordinated urban-rural development.
Detailed knowledge about the estimates and spatial patterns of soil organic carbon (SOC) and total nitrogen (TN) stocks is fundamental for sustainable land management and climate change mitigation. This study aimed at: (1) mapping the spatial patterns, and (2) quantifying SOC and TN stocks to 30 cm depth in the Eastern Mau Forest Reserve using field, remote sensing, geographical information systems (GIS), and statistical modelling approaches. This is a critical ecosystem offering essential services, but its sustainability is threatened by deforestation and degradation. Results revealed that elevation, silt content, TN concentration, and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager band 11 explained 72% of the variability in SOC stocks, while the same factors (except silt content) explained 71% of the variability in TN stocks. The results further showed that soil properties, particularly TN and SOC concentrations, were more important than that other environmental factors in controlling the observed patterns of SOC and TN stocks, respectively. Forests stored the highest amounts of SOC and TN (3.78 Tg C and 0.38 Tg N) followed by croplands (2.46 Tg C and 0.25 Tg N) and grasslands (0.57 Tg C and 0.06 Tg N). Overall, the Eastern Mau Forest Reserve stored approximately 6.81 Tg C and 0.69 Tg N. The highest estimates of SOC and TN stocks (hotspots) occurred on the western and northwestern parts where forests dominated, while the lowest estimates (coldspots) occurred on the eastern side where croplands had been established. Therefore, the hotspots need policies that promote conservation, while the coldspots need those that support accumulation of SOC and TN stocks.
From 1992 to 2015, ecological environment has been threatened by the changes of cropland around the world. In order to evaluate the impact of cropland changes on ecosystem, we calculated the response of terrestrial ecosystem service values (TESVs) variation to cropland conversion based on land-use data from European Space Agency (ESA). The results showed that cropland changes were responsible for an absolute loss of $166.82 billion, equivalent to 1.17% of global TESVs in 1992. Among the different regions, the impact of cropland changes on TESVs was significant in South America and Africa but not obvious in Oceania, Asia and Europe. Cropland expansion from tropical forest was the main reason for decreases in TESVs globally, especially in South America, Africa and Asia. The effect of wetland converted to cropland was notable in North America and Europe while grassland converted to cropland played an important role in Oceania, Africa and Asia. In Europe, the force of urban expansion cannot be ignored as well. The conversion of cropland to tropical or temperate forest partly compensated for the loss of TESVs globally, especially in Asia.
Slope spectrum has been proved to be a significant methodology in revealing geomorphological features in the study of Chinese loess terrain. The determination of critical areas in deriving slope spectra is an indispensable task. Along with the increase in the size of the study area, the derived spectra are becoming more and more alike, such that their differences can be ignored in favor of a standard. Subsequently, the test size is defined as the Slope Spectrum Critical Area (SSCA). SSCA is not only the foundation of the slope spectrum calculation but also, to some extent, a reflection of geomorphological development of loess relief. High resolution DEMs are important in extracting the slope spectrum. A set of 48 DEMs with different landform areas of the Loess Plateau in northern Shaanxi province was selected for the experiment. The spatial distribution of SSCA is investigated with a geo-statistical analysis method, resulting in values ranging from 6.18 km2 to 35.1 km2. Primary experimental results show that the spatial distribution of SSCA is correlated with the spatial distribution of the soil erosion intensity, to a certain extent reflecting the terrain complexity. The critical area of the slope spectrum presents a spatial variation trend of weak-strong-weak from north to south. Four terrain parameters, gully density, slope skewness, terrain driving force (Td) and slope of slope (SOS), were chosen as indicators. There exists a good exponential function relationship between SSCA and gully density, terrain driving force (Td) and SOS and a logarithmic function relationship between SSCA and slope skewness. Slope skewness increases, and gully density, terrain driving force and SOS decrease with increasing SSCA. SSCA can be utilized as a discriminating factor to identify loess landforms, in that spatial distributions of SSCA and the evolution of loess landforms are correlative. Following the evolution of a loess landform from tableland to gully-hilly region, this also proves that SSCA can represent the development degree of local landforms. The critical stable regions of the Loess Plateau represent the degree of development of loess landforms. Its chief significance is that the perception of stable areas can be used to determine the minimal geographical unit.
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.
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.