Studying the response to warming of hydrological systems in China’s temperate glacier region is essential in order to provide information required for sustainable development. The results indicated the warming climate has had an impact on the hydrological cycle. As the glacier area subject to melting has increased and the ablation season has become longer, the contribution of meltwater to annual river discharge has increased. The earlier onset of ablation at higher elevation glaciers has resulted in the period of minimum discharge occurring earlier in the year. Seasonal runoff variations are dominated by snow and glacier melt, and an increase of meltwater has resulted in changes of the annual water cycle in the Lijiang Basin and Hailuogou Basin. The increase amplitude of runoff in the downstream region of the glacial area is much stronger than that of precipitation, resulting from the prominent increase of meltwater from glacier region in two basins. Continued observations in the glacierized basins should be undertaken in order to monitor changes, to reveal the relationships between climate, glaciers, hydrology and water supplies, and to assist in maintaining sustainable regional development.
Runoff at the three time scales (non-flooding season, flooding season and annual period) was simulated and tested from 1958 to 2005 at Tangnaihai (Yellow River Source Region: YeSR), Zhimenda (Yangtze River Source Region: YaSR) and Changdu (Lancang River Source Region: LcSR) by hydrological modeling, trend detection and comparative analysis. Also, future runoff variations from 2010 to 2039 at the three outlets were analyzed in A1B and B1 scenarios of CSIRO and NCAR climate model and the impact of climate change was tested. The results showed that the annual and non-flooding season runoff decreased significantly in YeSR, which decreased the water discharge to the midstream and downstream of the Yellow River, and intensified the water shortage in the Yellow River Basin, but the other two regions were not statistically significant in the last 48 years. Compared with the runoff in baseline (1990s), the runoff in YeSR would decrease in the following 30 years (2010-2039), especially in the non-flooding season. Thus the water shortage in the midstream and downstream of the Yellow River Basin would be serious continuously. The runoff in YaSR would increase, especially in the flooding season, thus the flood control situation would be severe. The runoff in LcSR would also be greater than the current runoff, and the annual and flooding season runoff would not change significantly, while the runoff variation in the non-flooding season is uncertain. It would increase significantly in the B1 scenario of CSIRO model but decrease significantly in B1 scenario of NCAR model. Furthermore, the most sensitive region to climate change is YaSR, followed by YeSR and LcSR.
By using the observed monthly mean temperature and humidity datasets of 14 radiosonde stations and monthly mean precipitation data of 83 surface stations from 1979 to 2008 over the Tibetan Plateau (TP), the relationship between the atmospheric water vapor (WV) and precipitation in summer and the precipitation conversion efficiency (PEC) over the TP are analyzed. The results are obtained as follows. (1) The summer WV decreases with increasing altitude, with the largest value area observed in the northeastern part of the TP, and the second largest value area in the southeastern part of the TP, while the northwestern part is the lowest value area. The summer precipitation decreases from southeast to northwest. (2) The summer WV presents two main patterns based on the EOF analysis: the whole region consistent-type and the north-south opposite-type. The north-south opposite-type of the summer WV is similar to the first EOF mode of the summer precipitation and both of their zero lines are located to the north of the Tanggula Mountains. (3) The summer precipitation is more (less) in the southern (northern) TP in the years with the distribution of deficient summer WV in the north while abundant in the south, and vice versa. (4) The PEC over the TP is between 3% and 38% and it has significant spatial difference in summer, which is obviously bigger in the southern TP than that in the northern TP.
The proxy records on typhoons in the Yangtze River Delta from 1644 to 1949AD were extracted from historical chorographies in the Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China Period. In reference to the basic principles for identifying historical typhoons, time series on the Yangtze River Delta over a period of 306 years were developed. The conclusions are as follows. (1) There were a total of 241 typhoons from 1644 to 1949AD. Using the historical chorographies from 1884 to 1949AD, the number of typhoons was 65, equal to 87.8% recorded by meteorological observation. The number of years with differences in typhoon activities reconstructed using two ways no more than once is 55, reaching 83.3% in the period from 1884 to 1949AD. This result means the series of historical typhoons reconstructed using historical chorographies can represent the change of typhoon activities over years. (2) The average number of typhoon activities is 0.79 times per year from 1644 to 1949AD, and they show an increasing trend. These 306 years can be divided into three periods by the average number of typhoon activities: it is low from 1644 to 1784AD, and more typhoon activities are found from 1785 to 1904AD. It is worth noting that the number of typhoon activities reaches the summit in the last period, which is 1.2 times per year from 1905 to 1949AD. (3) Before the 20th century, the number of typhoon activities in warm periods is less than the number of cold periods. However, the number of typhoon activities increased dramatically in the early 20th century. Comparing the typhoon activities with El Ni駉 events, the data show that the number of typhoon activities did not increase when El Ni駉 occurred.
China’s southwestern special terrain pattern as parallel arrangement between longitudinal towering mountains and deep valleys has significant effects on the differentiation of local natural environment and eco-geographical pattern in this region. The 1:50,000 Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data of Longitudinal Range-Gorge Region (LRGR), meteorological observation data from the station establishment to 2010, hydrological observation data, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Net Primary Productivity (NPP) products of MOD13 and MOD17 as well as 1:1,000,000 vegetation type data were used. Moisture indices including surface atmospheric vapor content, precipitation, aridity/humidity index, surface runoff, and temperature indices including average temperature, annual accumulated temperature, total solar radiation were selected. Based on ANUSPLIN spline function, GIS spatial analysis, wavelet analysis and landscape pattern analysis, regional differentiation characteristics and main-control factors of hydrothermal pattern, ecosystem structure and function in this region were analyzed to reveal the effects of terrain pattern on regional differentiation of eco-geographical elements. The results show that: influenced by terrain pattern, moisture, temperature and heat in LRGR have shown significant distribution characteristics as intermittent weft differences and continuous warp extension. Longitudinal mountains and valleys not only have a north-south corridor function and diffusion effect on the transfer of major surface materials and energy, but also have east-west barrier function and blocking effect. Special topographic pattern has important influences on vegetation landscape diversity and spatial pattern of ecosystem structure and function, which is the main-control factor on vegetation landscape diversity and spatial distribution of ecosystem. Wavelet variance analysis reflects the spatial anisotropy of environmental factors, NDVI and NPP, while wavelet consistency analysis reveals the control factors on spatial distribution of NDVI and NPP as well as the quantitative relationship with control degree. Special terrain pattern in LRGR is the major influencing factor on eco-geographical regional differentiation in this region. Under the combined effect of zonality and non-zonality laws with “corridor-barrier” function as the main characteristic, special spatial characteristics of eco-geographical regional system in LRGR is formed.
An integrated environmental accounting of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR) is presented in this paper based on emergy analysis with data from 1987 to 2007. Through calculating environmental and economic inputs and a series of emergy indicators, this paper discusses IMAR’s resource use structure, economic situation, and trade status. The results show that more than 85% of the emergy used in IMAR was derived from home sources, indicating a strong capacity for self-sufficiency. Concentrated-used local non-renewable emergy, which provides IMAR economy with most of the driving forces, took the largest share in total emergy use after 2004 and reached 58% in 2007. The Western China Development Plan of 2000 ushered in a rapid growth of coal and electricity production and exportation to other regions of China from IMAR. The export/import emergy ratio of IMAR reached 3.46 in 2007, with the coal exported (3.44×1023 sej in 2007) without being used by IMAR itself, accounting for almost 100% of the difference between the imports and exports. The results also show that from 1987 to 1998, EmSI values remained higher than 10, suggesting underdevelopment in IMAR; after 1998, EmSI values decreased sharply from 19.07 in 1998 to 1.88 in 2007, indicating that IMAR is characterized by medium-run sustainability and is relying more on non-renewable resources and imports.
To explore the optimal land-use for soil carbon (C) sequestration in Inner Mongolian grasslands, we investigated C and nitrogen (N) storage in soil and soil fractions in 8 floristically and topographically similar sites which subjected to different land-use types (free-grazing, grazing exclusion, mowing, winter grazing, and reclamation). Compared with free-grazing grasslands, C and N storage in the 0-50 cm layer increased by 18.3% (15.5 Mg C ha-1) and 9.3% (0.8 Mg N ha-1) after 10-yr of grazing exclusion, respectively, and 21.9% (18.5 Mg C ha-1) and 11.5% (0.9 Mg N ha-1) after 30-yr grazing exclusion, respectively. Similarly, soil C and N storage increased by 15.3% (12.9 Mg C ha-1) and 10.2% (0.8 Mg N ha-1) after 10-yr mowing, respectively, and 19.2% (16.2 Mg C ha-1) and 7.1% (0.6 Mg N ha-1) after 26-yr mowing, respectively. In contrast, soil C and N storage declined by 10.6% (9.0 Mg C ha-1) and 11.4% (0.9 Mg N ha-1) after 49-yr reclamation, respectively. Moreover, increases in C and N storage mainly occurred in sand and silt fractions in the 0-10 cm soil layer with grazing exclusion and mowing. Our findings provided evidence that Inner Mongolian grasslands have the capacity to sequester C and N in soil with improved management practices, which were in the order: grazing exclusion > mowing > winter grazing > reclamation.
The resource development and changes of hydrological regime, sediment and water quality in the Mekong River basin have attracted great attentions. This research aimed to enhance the study on transboundary pollution of heavy metals in this international river. In this study, eight sampling sites were selected to collect the bed sand samples along the mainstream of the Mekong River. In addition, the contents of 5 heavy metal elements and their spatial variability along the mainstream of the river were analyzed. The geoaccumulation index (Igeo) and potential ecological risk analysis were employed to assess heavy metal pollution status in the mainstream of the Mekong River. The results show that the average content of the heavy metal elements Zn is 91.43 mg/kg, Pb is 41.85 mg/kg, and As is 21.84 mg/kg in the bed sands of the Upper Mekong River, which are higher than those (Zn 68.17 mg/kg, Pb 28.22 mg/kg, As 14.97 mg/kg) in the Lower Mekong. The average content of Cr in the Lower Mekong is 418.86 mg/kg, higher than that in the Upper Mekong (42.19 mg/kg). Luang Prabang has a very high Cr concentration with 762.93 mg/kg and Pakse with 422.90 mg/kg. The concentration of Cu in all of the 8 sampling sites is similar, except for in Jiajiu with 11.70 mg/kg and Jiebei with 7.00 mg/kg. The results of the geoaccumulation index reveal that contaminations caused by Zn and Pb while Pb and As are more than those by Zn in Upper Mekong. Cr is the primary pollutant in the Lower Mekong, especially at Luang Prabang and Pakse. Slight pollution with As also occurs in Pakse. The potential ecological risk index indicates that the potential ecological risk of heavy metals in the mainstream of the Mekong River is low. We argue that the pollution of water quality and contamination of heavy metals in bed sediment caused by mining of mineral resources or geochemical background values in the Mekong is not transmitted from the Upper to the Lower Mekong because of the reservoir sedimentation and dilution along the river.
Desertification process as a great problem affects most of the countries in the world. This process has a high rate in arid and semiarid areas. Today, human societies are encountering the desertification phenomenon as a serious problem which causes various irreparable damages to economic and social sectors. In order to assess desertification results in production of different regional models for their application in another region the indices should be re-investigated and adjusted to local conditions. Several models have been developed for desertification evaluation. The present study, attempts to assess quantitatively the desertification process has in an area located at Sistan plain of Iran (Niatak region as a case study) by using Modified MEDALUS method. The obtained results indicated that of the whole studied region (comprising 4819.6 acres), 2651.56 acres (55%) are located in medium desertification intensity class, 1269.48 acres (26.34%) are positioned in severe desertification intensity class, and 898.54 acres (18.64%) are placed in vary severe desertification intensity class.
As the largest wetland in the North China Plain (NCP), the Baiyangdian Lake plays an important role in maintaining water balance and ecological health of NCP. In the past few decades, the decreasing streamflow in the Baiyangdian Basin associated with climate variability and human activities has caused a series of water and eco-environmental issues. In this study, we quantified the impacts of climate variability and human activities on streamflow in the water source area of the Baiyangdian Lake, based on analyses of hydrologic changes of the upper Tanghe river catchment (a sub-basin of the Baiyangdian Basin) from 1960 to 2008. Climate elasticity method and hydrological modeling method were used to distinguish the effects of climate variability and human activities. The results showed that the annual streamflow decreased significantly (P>0.05) by 1.7 mm/a and an abrupt change was identified around the year 1980. The quantification results indicated that climate variations accounted for 38%-40% of decreased streamflow, while human activities accounted for 60%-62%. Therefore, the effect of human activities played a dominant role on the decline of the streamflow in the water source area of the Baiyangdian Lake. To keep the ecosystem health of the Baiyangdian Lake, we suggest that minimum ecological water demand and integrated watershed management should be guaranteed in the future.
The runoff of some rivers in the world especially in the arid and semi-arid areas has decreased remarkably with global or regional climate change and enhanced human activities. The runoff decrease in the arid and semi-arid areas of northern China has brought severe problems in livelihoods and ecology. To reveal the variation characteristics, trends of runoff and their influencing factors have been important scientific issues for drainage basin management. The objective of this study was to analyze the variation trends of the runoff and quantitatively assess the contributions of precipitation and human activities to the runoff change in the Huangfuchuan River Basin based on the measured data in 1960-2008. Two inflection points (turning years) of 1979 and 1998 for the accumulative runoff change, and one inflection point of 1979 for the accumulative precipitation change were identified using the methods of accumulative anomaly analysis. The linear relationships between year and accumulative runoff in 1960-1979, 1980-1997 and 1998-2008 and between year and accumulative precipitation in 1960-1979 and 1980-2008 were fitted. A new method of slope change ratio of accumulative quantity (SCRAQ) was put forward and used in this study to calculate the contributions of different factors to the runoff change. Taking 1960-1979 as the base period, the contribution rate of the precipitation and human activities to the decreased runoff was 36.43% and 63.57% in 1980-1997, and 16.81% and 83.19% in 1998-2008, respectively. The results will play an important role in the drainage basin management. Moreover, the new method of SCRAQ can be applied in the quantitative evaluation of runoff change and impacts by different factors in the river basin of arid and semi-arid areas.
It is essential to establish the water resources exploitation and utilization planning, which is mainly based on recognizing and forecasting the water consumed structure rationally and scientifically. During the past 30 years (1980-2009), mean annual precipitation and total water resource of Beijing have decreased by 6.89% and 31.37% compared with those perennial values, respectively, while total water consumption during the same period reached pinnacle historically. Accordingly, it is of great significance for the harmony between socio-economic development and environmental development. Based on analyzing total water consumption, agricultural, industrial, domestic and environmental water consumption, and evolution of water consumed structure, further driving forces of evolution of total water consumption and water consumed structure are revealed systematically. Prediction and discussion are achieved for evolution of total water consumption, water consumed structure, and supply-demand situation of water resource in the near future of Beijing using Time Series Forecasting Method. The purpose of the endeavor of this paper is to provide scientific basis for the harmonious development between socio-economy and water resources, for the establishment of rational strategic planning of water resources, and for the social sustainable development of Beijing with scientific bases.
Yangshao culture is the most important mid-Holocene Neolithic culture in the Yellow River catchment, and thus, a study on the impact of human activities on the environment is important. In the current study, the distribution pattern of the cultivated land in late Yangshao culture is reconstructed using GIS tool and site domain analysis (SDA). The results show that the cultivated land during 5.5-5.0 ka BP was mainly distributed in the Weihe River valley, Luohe River valley, northwestern Henan Plain, Fenhe River valley and eastern Gansu region, especially concentrated in the Xi’an-Baoji line of the Weihe River valley. At that time, at least 37,000 km2 of lands were reclaimed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, and 132,000 km2 of lands were affected by agricultural activities. Human activities had become the driving force of land use/land coverage. Charcoal records indicate that the ancestors of Yangshao culture burnt forests for reclamation, leading to the decrease of arbor pollen at 5 ka BP in core areas of the Yangshao culture. The areas that were significantly affected by human activities accounted for 3.2% of the Yangshao culture influenced area, while the moderately affected areas accounted for 20.1% of Yangshao culture influenced area. Meanwhile, 92% of the land areas on the edge and outside of the Yangshao culture influenced area were not affected by human activities. The arbor pollen in these areas did not decrease until 4.0 ka BP.
To study the influences of terraced field construction and check-dam siltation on soil erosion of a watershed, we built a simplified watershed model for the Loess Plateau hilly-gully region including terraced fields, slope farmlands, steep-slope grasslands, and dam farmlands, and defined three states of watershed (i.e., pioneer, intermediate, and climax stages, respectively). Then, the watershed soil erosion moduli at various stages were studied by using a revised universal soil loss equation. Our results show that the pioneer and climax stages are the extreme states of watershed soil-and-water conservation and control; in the pioneer stage, the soil erosion modulus was 299.56 t×ha-1×a-1 above the edge of gully, 136.64 t×ha-1×a-1 below the edge of gully, and 229.74 t×ha-1×a-1 on average; in the climax stage, the soil erosion modulus was 39.10 t×ha-1×a-1 above the edge of gully, 1.10 t×ha-1×a-1 below the edge of gully, and 22.81 t×ha-1×a-1 on average; in the intermediate stage, the soil erosion modulus above the edge of gully exhibited an exponential decline along with the increase in terraced field area percentage, while the soil erosion modulus below the edge of gully exhibited a linear decline along with the increase in siltation height.