Environmental degradation and other socio-economic problems are too often discerned in contemporary pastoral systems in the wake of global economic change. This paper identifies cases where pastoral people respond to external pressures and opportunities in positive ways and adapt to changes. We hope that by doing this a framework of pastoral adaptations can be developed. The first part of this paper focuses on impacts of global economic change, which are mostly negative in nature. Through an extensive literature search in geography, anthropology, range management, and development field, the second part introduces cases that we categorize as positive adaptations.
The Global Rainforest Mapping (GRFM) project was initiated in 1995 and, through a dedicated data acquisition policy by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA), data acquisitions could be completed within a 1.5-year period, resulting in a spatially and temporally homogeneous coverage to contain the entire Amazon Basin from the Atlantic to the Pacific; Central America up to the Yucatan Peninsular in Mexico; equatorial Africa from Madagascar and Kenya in the east to Sierra Leone in the west; and Southeast Asia, including Papua New Guinea. To some extent, GRFM project is an international endeavor led by NASDA, with the goal of producing spatially and temporally contiguous Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data sets over the tropical belt on the Earth by use of the JERS-1 L-band SAR, through the generation of semi-continental, 100m resolution, image mosaics. The GRFM project relies on extensive collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Joint Research Center of the European Commission (JRC) and the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) for data acquisition, processing, validation and product generation. A science program is underway in parallel with product generation. This involves the agencies mentioned above, as well as a large number of international organizations, universities and individuals to perform field activities and data analysis at different levels.
The foothill belts of Tianshan Mountains are about 280 km long and 60 km wide, and the study area extends from Kuitun city to Fukang city. They are transitional belts between mountains and plains, appearing in three rows of folds with different morphologies and their age becoming younger from south to north. Based on GIS and RS methods, and materials of the previous researchers, this paper deals with the genetics of the foothill belts and their landscape features resulting from folding by neotectonic movements, and also describes their length, width and slope by remote sensing image interpretation. The characteristics of the foothill belts are found to be very important for the surrounding environment by preventing groundwater from flowing into plains, changing groundwater, increasing flow of surface runoff, in addition to their roles in protecting the surrounding environment. The purpose of this paper is to provide an in-depth understanding of the foothill belts and influence on its surrounding environment.
An exponential relationship between net primary productivity (NPP) and integrated NDVI has been found in this paper. Based on the relationship and using multi-temporal 8 km resolution NOAA AVHRR-NDVI data, the spatial distribution and dynamic change of NPP and fractional vegetation cover in the Yellow River Basin from 1982 to 1999 are analyzed. Finally, the effect of rainfall on NDVI is examined. Results show that mean NPP and fractional vegetation cover have an inclining trend for the whole basin, and rainfall in flood season influences vegetation cover most.
Poyang Lake is the largest freshwater lake in China. This paper conducted a digital and rapid investigation of the lake’s wetland vegetation biomass using Landsat ETM data acquired on April 16, 2000. First, utilizing the false color composite derived from the ETM data as one of the main references, the authors designed a reasonable sampling route for field measurement of the biomass, and carried it out on April 18-28, 2000. Then after both the sampling data and the ETM data were geometrically corrected to an equal-area projection of Albers, linear relationships among the sampling data and some transformed data derived from the ETM data and the ETM 4 were calculated. The results show that the sampling data is best relative to the band 4 data with a high correlation coefficient of 0.86, followed by the DVI and NDVI data with 0.83 and 0.80 respectively. Therefore, a linear regression model, which was based on the field data and band 4 data, was used to estimate the total biomass of entire Poyang Lake, and then the map of the biomass distribution was compiled.
Asian monsoon have multiple forms of variations such as seasonal variation, intra-seasonal variation, interannual variation, etc. The interannual variations have not only yearly variations but also variations among several years. In general, the yearly variations are described with winter temperature and summer precipitation, and the variations among several years are reflected by circulation of ENSO events. In this study, at first, we analyze the relationship between land cover and interannual monsoon variations represented by precipitation changes using Singular Value Decomposition method based on the time series precipitation data and 8km NOAA AVHRR NDVI data covering 1982 to 1993 in east Asia. Furthermore, after confirmation and reclassification of ENSO events which are recognized as the strong signal of several year monsoon variation, using the same time series NDVI data during 1982 to 1993 in east Asia, we make a Principle Component Analysis and analyzed the correlation of the 7th component eigenvectors and Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) that indicates the characteristic of ENSO events, and summed up the temporal-spatial distribution features of east Asian land cover’s inter-annual variations that are being driven by changes of ENSO events.
Based on the investigation and analysis of characteristics of precipitation, natural environment, socio-economic factors and soil erosion, this paper indicates that the precipitation is the main driving force for the soil erosion in the sediment-rich area, its variability determines the characteristics of soil and water loss; the natural conditions such as the drainage systems, geological and topographic features, the composition of soil and land surface materials, vegetation and climate determine the seriousness of soil and water loss; irrational socio-economic activities of human beings usually accelerated soil and water loss; meanwhile, the low preservation rate and inferiority of soil and water conservation measures made it impossible to make rapid progress on soil and water loss control. Furthermore, the characteristics of erosion environment endowed this area with more sediment that is the main reason for the flooding disasters by the Yellow River. Therefore, more emphasis should be placed on the enhancement of soil and water conservation. The soil loss prediction models will provide scientific basis for the planning of soil and water conservation, the designing of soil and water conservation measures and the valuation of effects of soil and water loss control. According to the analysis of the previous studies on soil loss prediction, and the water-sediment variation features, it is thought that study on soil loss prediction under various rainfall conditions and soil-water conservation measures should be carried out.
Soil sediment samples of 10 layers with a spacing of 10 cm each were collected in different floodplain zones adjacent to Huolin River in the Xianghai Nature Reserve, and contents of total N, total P and organic matters were analyzed. The results showed that contents of total N, total P and organic matters were generally decreasing with the increase of distance from sample locations to the river channel, and contents of the three items were generally higher in the upper soil layer than that in the lower soil layer. The content variations displayed how flooding functions influenced nutrient matter content variations in floodplain soils since the flood inundation frequencies of the sample locations varied. The correlation analysis displayed that there were remarkable relativities between total N, total P and organic matters within definite spatial distance from the Huolin River channel.
The paper makes some analyses on 11 trace elements in the Milanggouwan stratigraphical section in the Salawusu River valley, which is regarded as a prototype geology-palaeoclimate record since 150 ka BP. The results show that the content and variation of trace elements has experienced remarkably regular changes in the pace with coarse and fine sedimentary cycles of palaeo-aeolian sands to its overlying fluvio-lacustrine facies or/and palaeosols. The trace elements with chemical properties of relatively active (V, Sr, Cu, Ni, As) and relatively stable (P, Pb, Rb, Mn, Nb, Zr) are a manifestation of the corresponding 27 changeable cycles between peak and valley values, appearing a multi-fluctuational process line of relative gathering and migration since then. The low numerical value distribution of these two types of trace elements in the aeolian sand facies represents erosion and accumulation under wind force during the cold-dry climate. Whereas their enrichments in both fluvio-lacustrine facies and palaeosols are related to the valley’s special low-lying physiognomic position between the Ordos Plateau and the Loess Plateau under the warm and humid climate conditions. The above relatively migrated and gathered change of the trace elements is the result of 27 climatic cycles of cold-dry and warm-humid, which is probably caused by repeated alternations of winter monsoon and summer monsoon in the Mu Us Sandy Land influenced by the climate vicissitudes in northern hemisphere during glacial and interglacial periods since 150 ka BP.
Straight river is generally regarded as one of the typical river patterns in conventional classifications in terms of their channel plain landforms. However, very few straight patterns were found to be distributed in wider spatial and temporal spans in the self-adjusted fluvial rivers. Thus, the questions occur such as that is it possible for a channel takes on a stable straight pattern? What are the main factors controlling the processes of the river pattern formation and transformation from a straight to other patterns? Various theories and hypotheses including geomorphic threshold hypothesis, the extreme hypothesis on energy dissipation rate, the stability theory, etc. have been developed to explain the aforementioned questions, but none of them is sound for the explanation to the straight-river formation. From the modern fluvial plain patterns, the straight patterns are not as stable as other typical patterns which occurred in nature; from the historic records of the river sedimentation, no apparent evidence was found to support the stable straight river evolution. Based on the analysis of existing theories, observations, evolvement processes of the channel patterns in the experimental results, this paper concluded that the straight pattern should not be included as one of the typical patterns that are self-formed and developed. This study is of importance to understanding of the river pattern formation and transformation.
Threshold is a limit and marginal point when a qualitative change takes place.Since threshold principle was firstly used in landform research by S.A.Schumm in the 1970s,the quantitative research on watershed landform development stage has come true.Davis proposed a three-stage model on landform evolution:young ,mature and old stages.Thereafter Stahler quantified this model by hypsometric analysis method.The authors thought that the material movement stage cannot be expressed by hypsometric method in watershed landform at development stage,because of the uncertainty on stage delimitaion.To meet this shortcoming,this paper presents an integral erosion value method.A clear delimitation on landform development stage in the Loess Plateau region has been tested by this method.The result shows that gullied loessial hilly area is at the mature stage,and gullied loessial tableland area is at the young stage.It is estimated that from the point of erosion related sediment yield,natural erosion accounts for 70% of the total erosion amount,and artificial accelerating erosion is 30%.Therefore soil and water conservation is very crucial for the Loess Plateau.
Forty-eight samples are chosen to discuss the distribution in space and time of the cooling fluctuation events during HoloCene in the tropical zone of China in this paper. The authors consider that the Neoglaciations II and III (or Cooling Event ①) have a widespread impact on the drop in temperature of 1-2 oC or less than 2 oC. The YD Event was dated at 11,300-10,200 a BP in the tropical mainland and its dating is 11,400-10,500 a BP in the sea area with a drop in temperature of 4-6 oC. The distribution of Event B and Neoglaciation I is taking a position of north, with a drop in temperature of 2.5-3.0 oC. The Cooling Event ② shows the temporality in time. The Cooling Event ③ shows the limitation of regional distribution with a drop in temperature of less than 1.5oC. The more recent the cooling event is, the smaller the drop amplitude in temperature will be. In the eastern part of tropical zone seven events are complete in all varieties but the cooling fluctuation is weaker in the western part. In Hainan Island and South China Sea the appearance of cooling fluctuations is synchronous with each other.
The seasonal frozen soil on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has strong response to climate change, and its freezing-thawing process also affects East Asia climate. In this paper, the freezing soil maximum depth of 46 stations covering 1961-1999 on the plateau is analyzed by rotated experience orthogonal function (REOF). The results show that there are four main frozen anomaly regions on the plateau, i.e., the northeastern, southeastern and southern parts of the plateau and Qaidam Basin. The freezing soil depths of the annual anomaly regions in the above representative stations show that there are different changing trends. The main trend, except for the Qaidam Basin, has been decreasing since the 1980s, a sign of the climate warming. Compared with the 1980s, on the average, the maximum soil depth decreased by about 0.02 m, 0.05 m and 0.14 m in the northeastern, southeastern and southern parts of the plateau, but increased by about 0.57 m in the Qaidam Basin during the 1990s. It means there are different responses to climate system in the above areas. The spectrum analysis reveals different change cycles: in higher frequency there is an about 2-year long cycle in Qaidam Basin and southern part of the plateau in the four representative areas whereas in lower frequency there is an about 14-year long cycle in all the four representative areas due to the combined influence of different soil textures and solutes in four areas.
Based on investigations between 1986 and 1996 in the four provinces of northern China, major problems on land reclamation were discovered. The increase of arable land was mainly low quality fields from barren land and was susceptible to disertification and water-induced soil erosion. In the meantime, large area of grassland and forestland was lost or degraded, and original fertile arable land was occupied for residential and industrial use. As a result the environment deteriorated. This change was mainly caused by economic development, population growth, inferior natural conditions, and irrational management strategies. Finally some positive measures were suggested to stop this negative cycle.
China has made great progress in the study of socio-economic water cycle. She has completed national water resources appraisement and medium to long-term water supply planning. She has been engaging in study on water-deficient regions in North China and Northwest China for about half a century. For solving water shortage problem in northern China, she has put forward the famous South-to-North Water Transferring Projects, which has been set as one of the four biggest national projects in the Tenth Five-Year-Plan period although there are still debates. For promoting water use efficiency, China has been reforming her water management system, including water right system and water price system. There has already been a case of water right purchase. China has also done a lot of research on the interaction between human activity, water and ecosystem. For meeting the need of sustainability and coordinating water resources development and environmental protection, the study of ecological water requirement became very hot in recent years. There are three focuses of socio-economic water cycle study now in China: water transfer projects from the south to the north, water resources management and ecological water requirement.