Lakes in China have undergone considerable environmental changes during the past 50 years, e.g. lake level, water area changes, as did in the past several thousands years. The enhanced human activities, such as land reclamation, application of chemical fertilizer, land use and cover, irrigation and industrialization in the catchment etc., have played an im-portant role on the recent decades’ changes of these lakes, although constrained to a great extent by the natural impact. Comparative study on variations of lake volume (water level, depth and area) in the eastern and western lake regions of China during 1950–2000 indicated that, lake volume in the eastern region had approximately undergone a two-stage change, i.e. a dramatic decrease from the 1950s to 1970s, and a continuous increase between the 1980s and 1990s; while, in the western region, lake volume had been decreasing nearly all the time. Further studies on some typical lakes concluded that, climatic change was a primary factor for the variations of lake volume during the past 50 years, although human activities showed important effect.
With Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) and trend analysis method adopted, the spatio-temporal variation of total cloud amount is analyzed for 75 stations on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau during the period 1971–2004. Analysis indicates that the total cloud amount decreases from the southeast to the northwest of the plateau, and that the annual and seasonal variations in total cloud amount both show an apparent declining tendency over the past decades. Correlation analysis demonstrates that the total cloud amount is negative with sunshine duration and diurnal temperature range (DTR), and is positive with precipitation and the relative humidity, respectively. The negative correlation is consistent with the radiative effect of cloud, while the positive correlation between total cloud amount and precipitation is obscured because of the influence of topographic factors. Discussion implies that the decrease of total cloud amount is possibly due to the variation of atmospheric aerosol content and ozone concentration over the plateau, although it is difficult to quantify the driving force mechanism up to now.
Summer monsoons (South Asian monsoon, South China Sea monsoon and Sub-tropical monsoon) are prominent features of summertime climate over southern China. Dif-ferent monsoons carry different inflow moisture into China and control the temporal and spa-tial distributions of precipitation. Analyses of meteorological data, particularly wind, tempera-ture and pressure anomalies are traditional methods of characterizing moisture sources and transport patterns. Here, we try to utilize the evidence from stable isotopes signatures to trace summer monsoons over southern China. Based on seven CHNIP (Chinese Network of Iso-topes in Precipitation) observatory stations located in southern China, monthly composite precipitation samples have been collected and analyzed for the composition of δ18O during July, 2005. The results indicated that the spatial distributions of δ18O in precipitation could properly portray the moisture sources together with their transport pathways. Moreover, the amount effect, altitude effect, temperature effect and the correlation between δ18O vs. relative humidity were discussed.
By the Empirical Mode Decomposition method, we analyzed the observed monthly average temperature in more than 700 stations from 1951–2001 over China. Simultaneously, the temperature variability of each station is calculated by this method, and classification chart of long term trend and temperature variability distributing chart of China are obtained, supported by GIS, 1 km×1 km resolution. The results show that: in recent 50 years, the temperature has increased by more than 0.4℃/10a in most parts of northern China, while in Southwest China and the middle and lower Yangtze Valley, the increase is not significant. The areas with a negative temperature change rate are distributed sporadically in Southwest China. Meanwhile, the temperature data from 1881 to 2001 in nine study regions in China are also analyzed, indicating that in the past 100 years, the temperature has been increasing all the way in Northeast China, North China, South China, Northwest China and Xinjiang and declining in Southwest China. An inverse ‘V-shaped’ trend is also found in Central China. But in Tibet the change is less significant.
Based upon the 1970 aero-photo topographic map, and TM/ETM satellite images taken in 1991 and 2000, the authors artificially interpreted boundaries of lake and glaciers in Nam Co Catchment, and quantified lake-glacier area variations in different stages by “inte-grated method” with the support of GIS. Results show that from 1970 to 2000, lake area in-creased from 1942.34 km2 to 1979.79 km2 at a rate of 1.27 km2/a, while glacier area de-creased from 167.62 km2 to 141.88 km2 at a rate of 0.86 km2/a. The increasing rate of lake in 1991–2000 was 1.76 km2/a that was faster than 1.03 km2/a in 1970–1991, while in the same period of time, the shrinking rates of glaciers were 0.97 km2/a and 0.80 km2/a respectively. Important factors, relevant to lake and glacier response to the climate, such as air tempera-ture, precipitation, potential evapotranspiration and their values in warm and cold seasons, were discussed. The result suggests that temperature increasing is the main reason for the accelerated melting of glaciers. Lake expansion is mainly induced by the increase of the gla-cier melting water, increase of precipitation and obvious decrease of potential evapotranspi-ration. Precipitation, evaporation and their linkages with lake enlargement on regional scale need to be thoroughly studied under the background of global warming and glacier retreating.
Data of 44 glacier systems in China used in this paper were obtained from Chinese Glacier Inventories and the meteorological data were got from Meteorological Atlas of Plateau of west China. Based on the statistical analysis and functional model simulation results of the 44 glacier systems in China, the glacier systems were divided into extremely-sensitive glacier system, semi-sensitive glacier system, extremely-steady glacier system and semi-steady glacier system in terms of glacier system’s level of water-energy exchange, rising gradient of the equilibrium line altitudes and retreating rate of area to climate warming, their median size and vertical span distribution, and their runoff characteristics to climate warming. Furthermore, the functional model of glacier system to climate warming was applied in this paper to predict the average variation trends of the 4 types of glacier systems, which indicate that different sensitivity types of glacier systems respond to the climate warming differently.
Having analyzed the tree ring width and maximum latewood density of Pinus den-sata from west Sichuan, we obtained different climate information from tree-ring width and maximum latewood density chronology. The growth of tree ring width was responded princi-pally to the precipitation in current May, which might be influenced by the activity of southwest monsoon, whereas the maximum latewood density reflected summer temperature (June–September). According to the correlation relationship, a transfer function had been used to reconstruct summer temperature for the study area. The explained variance of re-construction is 51% (F=52.099, p<0.0001). In the reconstruction series: before the 1930s, the climate was relatively cold, and relatively warm from 1930 to 1960, this trend was in accor-dance with the cold-warm period of the last 100 years, west Sichuan. Compared with Chengdu, the warming break point in west Sichuan is 3 years ahead of time, indicating that the Tibetan Plateau was more sensitive to temperature change. There was an evident sum-mer warming signal after 1983. Although the last 100-year running average of summer tem-perature in the 1990s was the maximum, the running average of the early 1990s was below the average line and it was cold summer, but summer drought occurred in the late 1990s.
The Salawusu Formation of Milanggouwan section in Salawusu River Valley in-cludes 7 layers of paleo-mobile dune sands, and 4 layers of paleo-fixed and semi-fixed dune sands. Their structures have been observed and their grain size, surface textural features and several main chemical elements have been analyzed. The results showed that: 1) Some of the aeolian structural characteristics of these dune sands are similar to that of the recent dune sands. 2) They are also similar to the recent dune sands in grain size components, and parameters of Mz, σ, Sk and Kg, as well as in several main chemical components. 3) The scattergrams of Mz-σ and SiO2–Al2O3+TOFE and the probability curves of grain size showed that these paleo-dune sands are different from paleosols and fluvio-lacustrine facies, but are consistency with recent dune sands. 4) Quartz sands have well roundness and surface textural features such as dish-shaped pits, crescent-shaped pits, pockmarked pits, upturned cleavage plates, siliceous precipitates and siliceous crevasses, indicating that they had been carried for a long time by the wind. As the 11 layers of paleo-dune sands possess the aeolian characteristics in structure, grain size, surface textural features and chemical elements, the origin of their formation should be attributed to eolation.
With the rapid economic development during the last 30 years in China, more and more disparities have emerged among different regions. It has been one of the hot topics in the fields of physical geography and economic geography, and also has been the task for Chinese government to handle. Nevertheless, to quantitatively assess the impacts of physio-geographical patterns (PGP) on the regional development disparity has been ignored for a long time. In this paper, a quantitative method was adopted to assess the marginal ef-fects of the PGP on spatio-temporal disparity using the partial determination coefficients. The paper described the construction of the evaluation model step by step following its key scien-tific thinking. Total GDP, per capita GDP, primary industrial output value and secondary in-dustrial output value were employed in this study as the indicators to reflect the impacts of PGP on the regional development disparity. Based on the evaluation methods built by re-searchers, this study firstly analyzed the temporal impacts of the PGP on spatio-temporal disparity of the regional development in China during the past 50 years, and then explained the spatial differences at each development stage. The results show that the spatio-temporal disparity in China is highly related to the PGP, and that the marginal contribution rate could be employed as an effective way to quantitatively assess the impact of the PGP on spa-tio-temporal disparity of the regional development.
The relief degree of land surface (RDLS) is an important factor for describing the landform at macro-scales. This study defines a concept for RDLS and applies the concept for population distribution study of the entire country. Based on the concept and macro-scale digital elevation model datum and ARC/INFO software, the RDLS at a 10 km×10 km grid size of China is extracted. This paper depicts systemically the spatial distributions of RDLS through analyzing the ratio structure and altitudinal characters of RDLS in China. The con-clusions are drawn as follows: the RDLS in more than 63% of the area is less than one (1) (relative altitude is less than 500 m), reflecting the fact that most of RDLS in China is low. In general, the RDLS in the west is larger than that in the east and so is the south than that of the north in China. The RDLS decreases with the increase of longitude and latitude and the change of RDLS at the latitudes of 28°N, 35°N, 42°N, as well as at the longitudes of 85°E, 102°E, 115°E could reflect the three major ladders of China. In the vertical direction, the RDLS increases with the increase of altitude. Analysis of the correlation between RDLS and population distribution in China and its regional difference shows that the R2 value between RDLS and population density is 0.91 and RDLS is an important factor influencing the spatial distribution of population. More than 85% of the people in China live in areas where the RDLS is less than one (1), while the population in areas with RDLS greater than 3 accounts only for 0.57% of the total. The regional difference of correlation between RDLS and population within China is significant and such correlation is significant in Central China and South China and weak in Inner Mongolia and Tibet.
At about 173 ka BP of the late period of mid-Pleistocene, the second terrace of the river had been formed as a result of uplift happening in Shangshan area because of the cli-mate, sea level change and tectonic action. Between 173?75 ka BP, aeolian deposited on the terrace, a layer of reticulate red clayey soil about 80?100 cm thick deposited and developed under the warmer and higher temperature. In the last glacial period, the drop of the tem-perature and the decrease of the precipitation induced the dust-storms increased, A layer of Xiashu loess about 1.0?1.5 m thick accumulated on Shangshan terrace in the last glacial, which has the reticulate red clayey soil buried. At the beginning of the Holocene (11500 a BP?), temperature went higher gradually and precipitation got more, the pre-persons moved on the Shangshan terrace (11,400?8600 a BP), which is one of the most important archaeo-logical sites, and can connect the paleolithic culture with Neolithic culture. It could be as-sumed from the results that the lower reaches of the Yangtze River are the home of rice cul-tivation, too. The lower place to the west of the Shangshan site experienced the two cycles process of the fluvial facies and the lacustrine facies, indicating that the water source of the pre-historical Shangshan is the river water or lake water. Two AMS 14C age proved the water source disappeared more than 1000 years ago.