Based on the drought/flood grades of 90 meterological stations over eastern China and summer average sea-level pressure (SLP) during 1850-2008 and BPCCA statistical methods, the coupling relationship between the drought/flood grades and the East Asian summer SLP is analyzed. The East Asian summer monsoon index which is closely related with interdecadal variation of drought/flood distribution over eastern China is defined by using the key areas of SLP. The impact of the interdecadal variation of the East Asian summer monsoon on the distribution of drought/flood over eastern China in the last 159 years is researched. The results show that there are four typical drought and flood spatial distribution patterns in eastern China, i.e. the distribution of drought/flood in southern China is contrary to the other regions, the distribution of drought/flood along the Huanghe River-Huaihe River Valley is contrary to the Yangtze River Valley and regions south of it, the distribution of drought/flood along the Yangtze River Valley and Huaihe River Valley is contrary to the other regions, the distribution of drought/flood in eastern China is contrary to the western. The main distribution pattern of SLP in summer is that the strength of SLP is opposite in Asian continent and West Pacific. It has close relationship between the interdecadal variation of drought/flood distribution patterns over eastern China and the interdecadal variation of the East Asian summer monsoon which was defined in this paper, but the correlation is not stable and it has a significant difference in changes of interdecadal phase. When the East Asian summer monsoon was stronger (weaker), regions north of the Yangtze River Valley was more susceptible to drought (flood), the Yangtze River Valley and regions south of it were more susceptible to flood (drought) before the 1920s; when the East Asian summer monsoon was stronger (weaker), the regions north of the Yangtze River Valley was prone to flood (drought), the Yangtze River Valley and regions south of it were prone to drought (flood) after the 1920s. It is indicated that by using the data of the longer period could get much richer results than by using the data of the last 50-60 years. The differences in the interdecadal phase between the East Asian summer monsoon and the drought/flood distributions in eastern China may be associated with the nonlinear feedback, which is the East Asian summer monsoon for the extrinsic forcing of solar activity.
Despite the observed increase in global temperature, observed pan evaporation in many regions has been decreasing over the past 50 years, which is known as the "pan evaporation paradox". The "pan evaporation paradox" also exists in the Tibetan Plateau, where pan evaporation has decreased by 3.06 mm a-2 (millimeter per annum). It is necessary to explain the mechanisms behind the observed decline in pan evaporation because the Tibetan Plateau strongly influences climatic and environmental changes in China, Asia and even in the Northern Hemisphere. In this paper, a derivation based approach has been used to quantitatively assess the contribution rate of climate factors to the observed pan evaporation trend across the Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that, provided the other factors remain constant, the increasing temperature should have led to a 2.73 mm a-2 increase in pan evaporation annually, while change in wind speed, vapor pressure and solar radiation should have led to a decrease in pan evaporation by 2.81 mm a-2, 1.96 mm a-2 and 1.11 mm a-2 respectively from 1970 to 2005. The combined effects of the four climate variables have resulted in a 3.15 mm a-2 decrease in pan evaporation, which is close to the observed pan evaporation trend with a relative error of 2.94%. A decrease in wind speed was the dominant factor for the decreasing pan evaporation, followed by an increasing vapor pressure and decreasing solar radiation, all of which offset the effect of increasing temperature across the Tibetan Plateau.
Evapotranspiration is one of the key components of hydrological processes. Assessing the impact of climate factors on evapotranspiration is helpful in understanding the impact of climate change on hydrological processes. In this paper, based on the daily meteorological data from 1960 to 2007 within and around the Aksu River Basin, reference evapotranspiration (RET) was estimated with the FAO Penman-Monteith method. The temporal and spatial variations of RET were analyzed by using ARCGIS and Mann-Kendall method. Multiple Regression Analysis was employed to attribute the effects of the variations of air temperature, solar radiation, relative humidity, vapour pressure and wind speed on RET. The results showed that average annual RET in the eastern plain area of the Aksu River Basin was about 1100 mm, which was nearly twice as much as that in the western mountainous area. The trend of annual RET had significant spatial variability. Annual RET was reduced significantly in the southeastern oasis area and southwestern plain area and increased slightly in the mountain areas. The amplitude of the change of RET reached the highest in summer, contributing most of the annual change of RET. Except in some high elevation areas where relative humidity predominated the change of the RET, the variations of wind velocity predominated the changes of RET almost throughout the basin. Taking Kuqa and Ulugqat stations as an example, the variations of wind velocity accounted for more than 50% of the changes of RET.
Based on 1961-2005 observed winter precipitation data in Northeast China, the temporal and spatial variations of snow concentration degree (SCD) and snow concentration period (SCP), together with the circulation characteristics when there is a higher SCD, are computed and analyzed. Results show that SCD in Northeast China presents a yearly rising tendency and SCP decreases obviously. In terms of decadal variation, there is a 12-year periodic variation in PCP, and since the mid-1970s there has been an 8-year short periodic variation. As to spatial variation, SCD in winter of Northeast China has increased gradually from the eastern part to the western, and the minimum value of SCD occurs in the east of Jilin Province, while the high value center is observed in the central part of the province. For the whole Northeast China, the variation tendencies are consistent in the eastern and central parts, where SCD presents a rising tendency and SCP shows a decreasing tendency. SCD in the southwestern and northern parts has a slight rising tendency, with SCD in the southwestern part having the slightest increasing tendency, and SCP in the northern part showing the slightest decreasing tendency. When a high SCD value is observed, the whole region is controlled by the East Asian deep trough at 500 hPa, and the trough becomes deeper in the western part, while a high pressure, which is easily formed and intensified in the eastern part, makes the East Asian deep trough move eastward slowly. Upper-level jet stream and low-level jet stream co-exist, and the former is stronger and takes more of a southwestward position than the latter. The high value zone of water vapor transport over the Pacific is intensified obviously, and the extent also increases. Northeast China is influenced by the water vapor transported to the northwest along the north of the high value center.
Global warming has led to significant vegetation changes especially in the past 20 years. Hulun Buir Grassland in Inner Mongolia, one of the world's three prairies, is undergoing a process of prominent warming and drying. It is essential to investigate the effects of climatic change (temperature and precipitation) on vegetation dynamics for a better understanding of climatic change. NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), reflecting characteristics of plant growth, vegetation coverage and biomass, is used as an indicator to monitor vegetation changes. GIMMS NDVI from 1981 to 2006 and MODIS NDVI from 2000 to 2009 were adopted and integrated in this study to extract the time series characteristics of vegetation changes in Hulun Buir Grassland. The responses of vegetation coverage to climatic change on the yearly, seasonal and monthly scales were analyzed combined with temperature and precipitation data of seven meteorological sites. In the past 30 years, vegetation coverage was more correlated with climatic factors, and the correlations were dependent on the time scales. On an inter-annual scale, vegetation change was better correlated with precipitation, suggesting that rainfall was the main factor for driving vegetation changes. On a seasonal- interannual scale, correlations between vegetation coverage change and climatic factors showed that the sensitivity of vegetation growth to the aqueous and thermal condition changes was different in different seasons. The sensitivity of vegetation growth to temperature in summers was higher than in the other seasons, while its sensitivity to rainfall in both summers and autumns was higher, especially in summers. On a monthly-interannual scale, correlations between vegetation coverage change and climatic factors during growth seasons showed that the response of vegetation changes to temperature in both April and May was stronger. This indicates that the temperature effect occurs in the early stage of vegetation growth. Correlations between vegetation growth and precipitation of the month before the current month, were better from May to August, showing a hysteresis response of vegetation growth to rainfall. Grasses get green and begin to grow in April, and the impacts of temperature on grass growth are obvious. The increase of NDVI in April may be due to climatic warming that leads to an advanced growth season. In summary, relationships between monthly-interannual variations of vegetation coverage and climatic factors represent the temporal rhythm controls of temperature and precipitation on grass growth largely.
From July 2008 to August 2008, 72 leaf samples from 22 species and 81 soil samples in the nine natural forest ecosystems were collected, from north to south along the North-South Transect of Eastern China (NSTEC). Based on these samples, we studied the geographical distribution patterns of vegetable water use efficiency (WUE) and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE), and analyzed their relationship with environmental factors. The vegetable WUE and NUE were calculated through the measurement of foliar δ13C and C/N of predominant species, respectively. The results showed: (1) vegetable WUE, ranging from 2.13 to 28.67 mg C g-1 H2O, increased linearly from south to north in the representative forest ecosystems along the NSTEC, while vegetable NUE showed an opposite trend, increasing from north to south, ranging from 12.92 to 29.60 g C g-1 N. (2) Vegetable WUE and NUE were dominantly driven by climate and significantly affected by soil nutrient factors. Based on multiple stepwise regression analysis, mean annual temperature, soil phosphorus concentration, and soil nitrogen concentration were responding for 75.5% of the variations of WUE (p<0.001). While, mean annual precipitation and soil phosphorus concentration could explain 65.7% of the change in vegetable NUE (p<0.001). Moreover, vegetable WUE and NUE would also be seriously influenced by atmospheric nitrogen deposition in nitrogen saturated ecosystems. (3) There was a significant trade-off relationship between vegetable WUE and NUE in the typical forest ecosystems along the NSTEC (p<0.001), indicating a balanced strategy for vegetation in resource utilization in natural forest ecosystems along the NSTEC. This study suggests that global change would impact the resource use efficiency of forest ecosystems. However, vegetation could adapt to those changes by increasing the use efficiency of shortage resource while decreasing the relatively ample one. But extreme impacts, such as heavy nitrogen deposition, would break this trade-off mechanism and give a dramatic disturbance to the ecosystem biogeochemical cycle.
On the Tibetan Plateau, the alpine meadow is the most widespread vegetation type. The alpine meadow has a low biological productivity and low vegetation coverage in the growing season. The daytime NEE between the atmosphere and the alpine meadow ecosystem was influenced by solar radiation. To analyze the characteristics of change in NEE and to calculate the parameters related to photosynthesis and respiration in different solar radiation environments, the NEE measurements were taken in Damxung from July to August in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 using the eddy covariance technique. Solar radiation was grouped into three levels according to the net radiation, which was more than 155 W m-2 d-1 on clear days, 144±5 W m-2 d-1 on partly cloudy days and less than 134 W m-2 d-1 on cloudy days. The diurnal relationships between NEE and PAR varied with differences in solar radiation, which was a rectangular hyperbola form on clear days, two different concave curves on partly cloudy days and an irregular triangle form on cloudy days. The mean CO2 absorption rate showed a decreasing trend with increasing solar radiation. The daytime absorption maximum occurred around 10:00 on clear days with an average of slightly less -0.2 mg m-2 d-1, around 11:00 on partly cloudy days with an average of about -0.2 mg m-2 d-1, and around 12:00 on cloudy days with an average of about -0.25 mg m-2 d-1. As solar radiation increased, the Amax and the Q10 decreased. However, the R10 increased and the maximum of the α occurred on partly cloudy days. The optimum net solar radiation was about 134-155 W m-2 d-1, which induced a PAR of about 1800-2000 μmol m-2 s-1 and soil temperature at a depth of 5 cm of about 14℃. Therefore, on the Tibetan Plateau, the alpine meadow ecosystem will have a higher carbon absorption potential while solar radiation decreases in the future.
Crop potential productivity is a key index of scientifically appraising crop production and land population-supporting capacity. This study firstly simulated the potential and waterlimited yield of summer maize in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region using WOFOST model with meteorological data of 40 years, and then analyzed yield gaps between the actual and potential yield based on statistical data at county level. The potential and water-limited yield of summer maize in the BTH region is 6854-8789 kg/hm2 and 6434-8741 kg/hm2, and the weighted average for whole region is 7861 kg/hm2 and 7185 kg/hm2, respectively. The simulated yields gradually decrease from northeast to southwest with changes in climatic conditions particularly temperature and precipitation. Annual variation of potential yield is higher in the central and southern parts than the northeastern part. Compared to potential yield, the water-limited yield has higher coefficient of variation (CV), because of precipitation effects. The actual yield of summer maize was 2537-8730 kg/hm2, regionally averaged at 5582 kg/hm2, about 70% of the potential yield, implying that the region has room to increase the yield by improving crop management and irrigation systems.
Specific Catchment Area (SCA) is defined as the upstream catchment area of a unit contour. As one of the key terrain parameters, it is widely used in the modeling of hydrology, soil erosion and ecological environment. However, SCA value changes significantly at different DEM resolutions, which inevitably affect terrain analysis results. SCA can be described as the ratio of Catchment Area (CA) and DEM grid length. In this paper, the scale effect of CA is firstly investigated. With Jiuyuangou Gully, a watershed about 70 km2 in northern Shaanxi Province of China, as the test area, it is found that the impacts of DEM scale on CA are different in spatial distribution. CA value in upslope location becomes bigger with the decrease of the DEM resolution. When the location is close to downstream areas the impact of DEM scale on CA is gradually weakening. The scale effect of CA can be concluded as a mathematic trend of exponential decline. Then, a downscaling model of SCA is put forward by introducing the scale factor and the location factor. The scaling model can realize the conversion of SCA value from a coarse DEM resolution to a finer one at pixel level. Experiment results show that the downscaled SCA was well revised, and consistent with SCA at the target resolution with respect to the statistical indexes, histogram and spatial distribution. With the advantages of no empirical parameters, the scaling model could be considered as a simple and objective model for SCA scaling in a rugged drainage area.
The study developed a feasible method for large-area land cover mapping with combination of geographical data and phenological characteristics, taking Northeast China (NEC) as the study area. First, with the monthly average of precipitation and temperature datasets, the spatial clustering method was used to divide the NEC into four ecoclimate regions. For each ecoclimate region, geographical variables (annual mean precipitation and temperature, elevation, slope and aspect) were combined with phenological variables derived from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) data (enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and land surface water index (LSWI)), which were taken as input variables of land cover classification. Decision Tree (DT) classifiers were then performed to produce land cover maps for each region. Finally, four resultant land cover maps were mosaicked for the entire NEC (NEC_MODIS), and the land use and land cover data of NEC (NEC_LULC) interpreted from Landsat-TM images was used to evaluate the NEC_MODIS and MODIS land cover product (MODIS_IGBP) in terms of areal and spatial agreement. The results showed that the phenological information derived from EVI and LSWI time series well discriminated land cover classes in NEC, and the overall accuracy was significantly improved by 5.29% with addition of geographical variables. Compared with NEC_LULC for seven aggregation classes, the area errors of NEC_MODIS were much smaller and more stable than that of MODIS_IGBP for most of classes, and the wall-to-wall spatial comparisons at pixel level indicated that NEC_MODIS agreed with NEC_LULC for 71.26% of the NEC, whereas only 62.16% for MODIS_IGBP. The good performance of NEC_MODIS demonstrates that the methodology developed in the study has great potential for timely and detailed land cover mapping in temperate and boreal regions.
Sediment samples with high spatial resolution (432 samples in total) and flow data were collected on the tidal flats in the mouth-bar region of the Yangtze Estuary. The data was collected in July 2005, July 2006 and May 2007. The samples were analyzed with a particle sizer, resulting in the sediment distribution. The grain sizes and related parameters were analyzed. The results were presented in a ternary diagram. The sediment mainly consisted of sand, silty sand, sandy silt, sand-silt-clay, silt and clayey silt. And sand skeletons and clay matrices were found. At Nanhui Shoal, silt skeletons could be identified as well. Furthermore, the results were discussed per shoal. Although some depth dependencies were found per shoal, no general relation was found. The results are as follows: sediment located at these tidal flats of the Yangtze Estuary was mainly composed of sand, silty sand and silt. The median grain size in sediment was relatively complex with a range from 2.5 φ to 8 φ. The distributions of sorting coefficients ranging from 1 to 2 were in agreement with median sizes. It was suggested that sediment of the tidal flats was coarser and better sorted or finer and worse sorted. The skewness in sediment distribution varied from 0.1 to 0.8. In addition, the distributions of sorting coefficient and skewness in sediment at Chongming Eastern Shoal, Hengsha Eastern Shoal and Jiuduan Shoal were of similar characteristics because there were closely positive correlated relationships among these parameters. However, due to the location difference between Nanhui Southern Shoal and Eastern Shoal, the values of sorting coefficient and skewness had relatively large distinctions. The tracks of sediment transport could be described based on the distributions of sediment, which might reveal sediment transport controlled by two dominant hydrodynamic factors of current and wave. It was appreciable that coarser sediment with lower sorted coefficient was affected by dominant ebb current action and intense wave action resulted from rapidly dissipated wave energy. Moreover, due to the effects of obstructed branches, guided current and broken wave actions of the Deep Water Channel Project, grain-size in sediment located at two sides of the groyne was of uneven distribution characteristics.
In 2009, nearly 900 million international tourist arrivals were counted worldwide. A global activity of this scale can be assumed to have a substantial impact on the environment. In this contribution, five major aspects such as the change of LUCC and the use of energy and its associated impacts had been recognized. Recently, the impact of tourism on environment and climate attracts the attention of international organizations and societies in pace with rapid development of tourism industry. Energy consumption and CO2 emissions in tourism sector are becoming a hot spot of international tourism research in recent five years. The use of energy for tourism can be divided according to transport-related purposes (travel to, from and at the destination) and destination-related purposes excluding transports (accommodation, food, tourist activities, etc.). In addition, the transports, accommodation and foods are related to many other industries which are dependent on energy. Thus, the estimations of energy consumption and CO2 emissions in tourism sector have become a worldwide concern. Tourism in China grows rapidly, and the number of domestic tourists was 1902 million in 2009. Energy use and its impact on the environment increase synchronously with China's tourism. It is necessary to examine the relationship between energy use and CO2 emissions. In this article, a preliminary attempt was applied to estimate the energy consumption and CO2 emissions from China's tourism sector in 2008. Bottom-up approach, literature research and mathematical statistics technology were also adopted. According to the calculations, Chinese tourism-related may have consumed approximately 428.30 PJ of energy in 2008, or about 0.51% of the total energy consumptions in China. It is estimated that CO2 emissions from tourism sector amounted to 51.34 Mt, accounting for 0.86% of the total in China. The results show that tourism is a low-carbon industry and also a pillar industry coping with global climate change, energy-saving and CO2 emission reduction. Based on this, the authors suggested that tourism should become an important field in low-carbon economic development.
The metropolitan resources comprehensive efficiencies (also called comprehensive technical efficiency, short for CTE, thereafter), change trends and causes are investigated using DEA and Malmquist index models, respectively, in China during the period 1990-2006. Firstly, the DEA model results show that the metropolitan CTE was just fair to middling with the characteristics of almost declining from the Eastern Coastal to Western China, and only few metropolises were DEA efficient. Secondly, the results also show that the PTE was correlated with the urban population sizes of metropolises negatively, and the SE correlated positively with the urban population sizes of metropolises in 1990, 2000 and 2006, that is, with urban population sizes getting larger the corresponding PTE was decreasing accordingly, and the SE was increasing consequently and the increasing rate was smaller with the scale increase. Thirdly, the influencing factors of metropolitan efficiency were SE and PTE in 1990 and 2000, respectively. But the PTE became the predominant influencing factor with the rapid expansions of built-up areas and population scales of metropolises in 2006. Fourthly, the Malmquist index results show that the CTE change trends were increasing weakly, the technological change trends were declining, and the TFP change trends were declining obviously during 1990-2006, in which they were all increasing during the sub-period 1990-2000, and all decreasing during the sub-period 2000-2006. Fifthly, the Malmquist index results also demonstrate that the CTE change trend was increasing weakly in the Eastern Coastal China, declining in Central China, and declining evidently in Western China. And with the urban population size increasing the increasing trends of SE became weaker and weaker. And the main causes for the CTE being not too high and its change trends and TFP change trends being increasing weakly lie mainly in the technological degeneracy and PTE change trends declining significantly during 2000-2006. Finally, the analyses show that the China's metropolitan population boom and the rapid spread of built-up area had really caused their resources efficiency losses.
For the low price of coal and ineffective environmental management in mining area, China is in the dilemma of the increasing coal demand and the serious environmental issues in mining area. The more coal that is exported from a region, the more heavily it suffers from the environmental impacts of coal export. In this paper, the temporal and spatial process of exporting coal from Shanxi to other provinces of China is traced between 1975 and 2005. The coal net export of Shanxi increased to 370.69 million tonnes in 2005, representing an average annual growth rate of 7.5% from 1975 to 2005. With the increase of the amount of coal export from Shanxi, the Environmental Loads Transfer (ELT) that import provinces input to mining areas of Shanxi are rising. Effective means of internalizing the environmental externality of ELT lie in: 1) setting up a coal sustainable development fund to restore environment of coal mining area; 2) enforcing environment tax, financial transfer payment and transferring advantage technology of pollution reduction to coal export area; and 3) reducing coal regional flow by reducing coal demand from power generation and heating and other industries.
The Annual Meeting of China's Geographical Journals Editing was held in Fuzhou city on April 21-25, 2011. This meeting was co-sponsored by the Working Committee for Editing and Publication under The Geographical Society of China (EPWC, GSC) and Fujian Normal University. The theme of the meeting was "Innovation and Development of the Geographical Journals in China".