Table of Content

    15 February 2013, Volume 23 Issue 1 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Research Articles
    Extreme drought changes in Southwest China from 1960 to 2009
    ZHANG Mingjun, HE Jinyun, WANG Baolong, WANG Shengjie, LI Shanshan, LIU Wenli, MA Xuening
    2013, 23 (1):  3-16.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-0989-7
    Abstract ( 879 )   PDF (739KB) ( 17 )   Save

    Based on the daily data of temperature and precipitation of 108 meteorological stations in Southwest China from 1960 to 2009, we calculate the monthly and yearly surface humid indexes, as well as the extreme drought frequency. According to the data, the temporal and spatial characteristics of the extreme drought frequency in inter-annual, inter-decadal, summer monsoon period and winter monsoon period are analyzed. The results are indicated as follows. (1) In general, the southwestern Sichuan Basin, southern Hengduan Mountains, southern coast of Guangxi and northern Guizhou are the areas where the extreme drought frequency has significantly increased in the past 50 years. As for the decadal change, from the 1960s to the 1980s the extreme drought frequency has presented a decreasing trend, while the 1990s is the wettest decade and the whole area is turning wet. In the 2000s, the extreme drought frequency rises quickly, but the regional differences reduce. (2) During summer monsoon period, the extreme drought frequency is growing, which generally occurs in the high mountains around the Sichuan Basin, most parts of Guangxi and “the broom-shaped mountains” in Yunnan. It is distinct that the altitude has impacts on the extreme drought frequency; during winter monsoon period, the area is relatively wet and the extreme drought frequency is decreasing. (3) During summer monsoon period, the abrupt change is observed in 2003, whereas the abrupt change during winter monsoon period is in 1989. The annual extreme drought frequency variation is a superposition of abrupt changes during summer monsoon and winter monsoon periods. The departure sequence vibration of annual extreme drought frequency is quasi-5 years and quasi-12 years.

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    Variations of temperature and precipitation of snowmelt period and its effect on runoff in the mountainous areas of Northwest China
    LI Baofu, CHEN Yaning, CHEN Zhongsheng, LI Weihong, ZHANG Baohuan
    2013, 23 (1):  17-30.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-0990-1
    Abstract ( 728 )   PDF (805KB) ( 27 )   Save

    Water resources in the arid land of Northwest China mainly derive from snow and glacier melt water in mountainous areas. So the study on onset, cessation, length, temperature and precipitation of snowmelt period is of great significance for allocating limited water resources reasonably and taking scientific water resources management measures. Using daily mean temperature and precipitation from 8 mountainous weather stations over the period 1960?2010 in the arid land of Northwest China, this paper analyzes climate change of snowmelt period and its spatial variations and explores the sensitivity of runoff to length, temperature and precipitation of snowmelt period. The results show that mean onset of snowmelt period has shifted 15.33 days earlier while mean ending date has moved 9.19 days later. Onset of snowmelt period in southern Tianshan Mountains moved 20.01 days earlier while that in northern Qilian Mountains moved only 10.16 days earlier. Mean precipitation and air temperature increased by 47.3 mm and 0.857℃ in the mountainous areas of Northwest China, respectively. The precipitation of snowmelt period increased the fastest, which is observed in southern Tianshan Mountains, up to 65 mm, and the precipitation and temperature in northern Kunlun Mountains increased the slowest, an increase of 25 mm and 0.617℃, respectively, while the temperature in northern Qilian Mountains increased the fastest, increasing by 1.05℃. The annual runoff is also sensitive to the variations of precipitation and temperature of snowmelt period, because variation of precipitation induces annual runoff change by 7.69% while change of snowmelt period temperature results in annual runoff change by 14.15%.

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    Changes of spring phenodates for the past 150 years over the Yangtze River Delta
    ZHENG Jingyun, ZHONG Shuying, GE Quansheng, HAO Zhixin, ZHANG Xuezhen, MA Xiang
    2013, 23 (1):  31-44.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-0991-0
    Abstract ( 353 )   PDF (407KB) ( 12 )   Save

    Based on phenological records extracted from Chinese historical dairies, spring phenological series in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) of China since 1834 is reconstructed. Together with temperature and phenological observation data, the indicating significance of spring phenological series to temperature changes is also analyzed. The results are shown as follows. (1) From 1834 to 1893, spring phenodate in the YRD was fluctuated and gradually delayed, but, advanced greatly at the end of the 19th century. From 1900 to 1990, although the decadal variations were found, no clear multi-decadal trend was detected. From 1990 to 2010, spring phenodate showed significantly advance again. Compared with the mean value for 1977-1996, the latest phenodate occurred in 1893 with 27 days delayed while the earliest phenodate occurred in 2007 with 17 days advanced. (2) The correlation coefficients between spring phenodates and temperatures from December to March and from January to March exceeded -0.75 and -0.80, respectively, indicating that our phenodate series well presents the long-term changes of winter and early spring (especially from January to March) temperatures. These results provide important basic data for the long-term integrated temperature reconstruction over China in the future work.

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    Variation in vegetation greenness in spring across eastern China during 1982-2006
    ZHANG Xuezhen, DAI Junhu, GE Quansheng
    2013, 23 (1):  45-56.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-0992-z
    Abstract ( 512 )   PDF (449KB) ( 14 )   Save

    Vegetation greenness is a key indicator of terrestrial vegetation activity. To understand the variation in vegetation activity in spring across eastern China (EC), we analysed the variation in the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from April to May during 1982-2006. The regional mean NDVI across EC increased at the rate of 0.02/10yr (r2=0.28; p=0.024) prior to 1998; the increase ceased, and the NDVI dropped to a low level thereafter. However, the processes of variation in the NDVI were different from one region to another. In the North China Plain, a cultivated area, the NDVI increased (0.03/10yr; r2=0.52; p<0.001) from 1982 to 2006. In contrast, the NDVI decreased (-0.02/10yr; r2=0.24; p=0.014) consecutively from 1982 to 2006 in the Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas, two regions of rapid urbanisation. In the eastern region of the Inner Mongolian Plateau and the lower reaches of the Yangtze River in East China, the NDVI increased prior to 1998 and decreased thereafter. In the Hulun Buir area and the southern part of the Yangtze River Basin, the NDVI increased prior to 1998 and remained static thereafter. The NDVI in the grasslands and croplands in the semi-humid and semi-arid areas showed a significant positive correlation with precipitation, while the NDVI in the woodlands in the humid to semi-humid areas showed a significant positive correlation with temperature. As much as 60% of the variation in the NDVI was explained by either precipitation or temperature.

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    A comparative analysis of changes in the phasing of temperature and satellite-derived greenness at northern latitudes
    MA Ting, ZHOU Chenghu, PEI Tao, XIE Yichun
    2013, 23 (1):  57-66.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-0993-y
    Abstract ( 547 )   PDF (702KB) ( 25 )   Save

    Plant growth at northern latitudes is highly responsive to the climatic changes that have occurred over recent decades. However, the sensitivity of the phasing of the seasonal cycle of terrestrial ecosystems to a changing environment remains less widely understood. We present an investigation and comparative study of large-scale changes in seasonal cycling of both land surface temperature and plant growth. Our results have shown trends indicating a marked increased towards overall plant productivity by ~3% from 1982 to 2005, reduced trends in seasonal variation at low-mid latitudes by ~2%, increased trends in seasonal variations at mid-high latitudes by ~7%, and an earlier phase in northern terrestrial ecosystems (~1.1 days) in parallel with changes in the phasing of surface temperatures at northern latitudes over the 24 years in this study. These shifts in annual cycles of terrestrial vegetation appear to have a distinct geographical zonality and are dependent upon latitudinal changes in climatic variables. More conspicuous changes in overall vegetation productivity and the seasonal phase of ecosystems have been observed in Eurasia compared to North America, largely because of a more rapid rise in temperature. Our results state that changing climate boosts plant growth at northern latitudes, but also alters the phase and seasonal variations of the annual cycle of terrestrial ecosystems.

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    Rice re-cultivation in southern China: An option for enhanced climate change resilience in rice production
    MA Xin, WU Shaohong, LI Yu’e, ZHANG Xueyan, GAO Qingzhu, WU Yang
    2013, 23 (1):  67-84.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-0994-x
    Abstract ( 679 )   PDF (969KB) ( 16 )   Save

    Rice planted in southern China accounts for 94% of the total in sown acreage and 88% of the total in production, which matters a lot to Chinese food security. However, due to the prolonged conflict between water availability and rice growth in spatial/temporal distribution, rice production suffers from seasonal drought at acreage of 16%-22%, which compromises food production capacity and food security. Focusing on the spatial distribution of seasonal drought with rice and the practices to adapt to it, and based on an analysis of balanced water supply for and demand by rice at a growing season scale during 1981-2030, this paper assesses the changing seasonal drought in the process of rice production under the changing climate in the future, and identifies general rice re-cultivation options for climate change adaptation. Some conclusions can be drawn as follows. (1) Rice suggests a decline in seasonal drought, with early season rice (early rice hereafter) by 12,500 km2, middle season rice (middle rice) by 80,000 km2, and in particular late season rice (late rice) by 25,000 km2, which accounts for almost 20% of its cultivated acreage. It is indicated that due to climate change, seasonal drought in major rice producing areas tends to alleviate in general, late season rice in particular. (2) Future climate change brings about a significant impact on the spatial/temporal distribution of water resources in rice producing areas in China. Based on 'pre-designed' adaptation actions for rice-re-cultivation, the rice cultivation pattern undergoes a significant alteration between 1981-2000 and 2001-2030. In eastern Guizhou and western Hunan, the pattern of single early plus single dry farming is changed into double cropping. In eastern Hunan, the pattern of dry cropping is changed into single early plus single dry farming. In northern Anhui, the pattern of dry farming cropping is changed into middle rice. All this is aimed at a potential adequate availability of water for rice production in the future. (3) Rice re-cultivation patterns developed in this paper help re-balance water demand and supply for rice growth using the spatial analysis tool to adapt rice growth to the changing water availability from spatial perspective, and come up with rice producer-friendly re-cultivation options in response to climate change.

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    Impact of chilling injury and global warming on rice yield in Heilongjiang Province
    LIU Xiaofei, ZHANG Zhao, SHUAI Jiabing, WANG Pin, SHI Wenjiao, TAO Fulu, CHEN Yi
    2013, 23 (1):  85-97.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-0995-9
    Abstract ( 1057 )   PDF (554KB) ( 28 )   Save

    This study is focused on indexes for the rice chilling injury in Heilongjiang Province during 1960-2009. Firstly, we compared a new derived climate data weighted by rice planting density with the traditional method, and found that the new one is more reasonable to assess the impact of climate change on crop yields. Considering the frequency and intensity of rice chilling in the province, secondly, chilling indexes defined by meteorological, national and international levels were assessed. The result showed that the meteorological standards were suitable for the delayed-type injury, while the international one, so-called sum of Growing Degree Day below threshold (GDDn-), characterized best the sterile-type chilling injury for rice. The explanation ability of the rice yield time series model including both injury types as two independent variables reached approximately 92% (p < 0.05). Finally, we concluded that the contribution rates of human and weather factors to rice yields are about 87.2% and 12.8% respectively, and as light increasing trend for sterile-type chilling injury was found during heading to flowing period in recent years, indicating a high chilling risk for rice planting in Heilongjiang Province in the future global warming.

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    Response of vegetation restoration to climate change and human activities in Shaanxi-Gansu- Ningxia Region
    LI Shuangshuang, YAN Junping, LIU Xinyan, WAN Jia
    2013, 23 (1):  98-112.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-0996-8
    Abstract ( 864 )   PDF (812KB) ( 12 )   Save

    The “Grain for Green Project” initiated by the governments since 1999 were the dominant contributors to the vegetation restoration in the agro-pastoral transitional zone of northern China. Climate change and human activities are responsible for the improvement and degradation to a certain degree. In order to monitor the vegetation variations and clarify the causes of rehabilitation in the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Region, this paper, based on the MODIS-NDVI and climate data during the period of 2000-2009, analyzes the main characteristics, spatial-temporal distribution and reasons of vegetation restoration, using methods of linear regression, the Hurst Exponent, standard deviation and other methods. Results are shown as follows. (1) From 2000 to 2009, the NDVI of the study area was improved progressively, with a linear tendency being 0.032/10a, faster than the growth of the Three-North Shelter Forest Program (0.007/10a) from 1982 to 2006. (2) The vegetation restoration is characterized by two fast-growing periods, with an “S-shaped” increasing curve. (3) The largest proportion of the contribution to vegetation restoration was observed in the slightly improved area, followed by the moderate and the significantly improved area; the degraded area is distributed sporadically over southern part of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region as well as eastern Dingbian of Shaanxi province, Huanxian and Zhengyuan of Gansu province. (4) Climate change and human activities are two driving forces in vegetation restoration; moreover anthropogenic factors such as “Grain for Green Project” were the main causes leading to an increasing trend of NDVI on local scale. However, its influencing mechanism remains to be further investigated. (5) The Hurst Exponent of NDVI time series shows that the vegetation restoration was sustainable. It is expected that improvement in vegetation cover will expand to the most parts of the region.

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    Water renewal time of the Yellow River mainstream based on reservoir action
    JIANG Xiaohui, LIU Changming
    2013, 23 (1):  113-122.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-0997-7
    Abstract ( 435 )   PDF (396KB) ( 9 )   Save

    This note analyzes the change in water renewal time characteristics based on reservoir action and then establishes calculation models for the water renewal time in the Yellow River mainstream. The results indicate that the amount of renewable water with reservoir action can meet the annual water demand and that water flows naturally at the Lijin station near estuary. Initial storage dynamics is an important factor in water resource renewable capacity at a certain time, and rational reservoir action can promote sustainable water resource utilization. When the initial storages in the Longyang Gorge reservoir are 9.343 and 5.343 billion m3, the water renewal times are 28 and 33.9 d, respectively. Flow stoppage appears in April and May.

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    Lake evaporation: A possible factor affecting lake level changes tested by modern observational data in arid and semi-arid China
    LI Yu, WANG Nai’ang, LI Zhuolun, MA Ning, ZHOU Xuehua, ZHANG Chengqi
    2013, 23 (1):  123-135.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-0998-6
    Abstract ( 827 )   PDF (577KB) ( 13 )   Save

    Qinghai Lake and Zhuye Lake, ~400 km apart, are located in the northwest margin of the Asian summer monsoon. Water of these two lakes mostly comes from the middle and eastern parts of the Qilian Mountains. Previous studies show that the Holocene climate changes of the two lakes implied from lake records are different. Whether lake evaporation plays a role in asynchronous Holocene climate changes is important to understand the lake records. In this paper, we used modern observations beside Qinghai Lake and Zhuye Lake to test the impact factors for lake evaporation. Pan evaporation near the two lakes is mainly related to relative humidity, temperature, vapor pressure and sunshine duration. But temperature has different impacts to lake evaporation of the two lakes, which can affect Holocene millennial-scale lake level changes. In addition, differences in relative humidity on the millennial-scale would be more significant, which also can contribute to asynchronous lake records.

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    Palaeovegetational and palaeoenvironmental changes since the last deglacial in Gonghe Basin, northeast Tibetan Plateau
    CHENG Bo, CHEN Fahu, ZHANG Jiawu
    2013, 23 (1):  136-146.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-0999-5
    Abstract ( 526 )   PDF (722KB) ( 13 )   Save

    Paleoenvironmental history in the monsoonal margin in the northeast Tibetan Plateau provides important clue to the regional climate. Previous researches have been limited by either poor chronology or low resolution. Here we present a high-resolution pollen record from a 40.92-m-long sediment core (DLH) taken from Dalianhai, a terminal lake situated in the Gonghe Basin, the northeast Tibetan Plateau for reconstructing the vegetation and climate history since the last deglacial on the basis of a chronology controlled by 10 AMS 14C dates on plant remains preserved in the core sediments. The pollen assemblages in DLH core can be partitioned into 6 pollen zones and each zone is mainly characterized by the growth and decline of tree or herb pollen percentage. During the periods of 14.8-12.9 ka and 9.4-3.9 ka, the subalpine arboreal and local herbaceous pollen increased, indicating the subalpine forest developed in the surrounding mountains and a desert steppe or typical steppe developed in Gonghe Basin under a relatively moister climate. During the periods of 15.8-14.8 ka, 12.9-9.4 ka and 3.9-1.4 ka, the forest shrank or disappeared according to different degrees of aridity, and the desert steppe degraded to a more arid steppe desert in the basin, indicating a dry climate. After 1.4 ka, vegetation type around Dalianhai was mainly dominated by steppe suggested by increased Artemisia. Our results suggested the climate history in this region was dry from 15.8-14.8 ka, humid from 14.8-12.9 ka and dry from 12.9-9.4 ka, after which the climate was humid during 9.4-3.9 ka, followed by dry conditions during 3.9-1.4 ka and humid conditions in the last 1.4 ka. The change of pollen percentage and the evolution of palaeovegetation in Dalianhai since the last deglacial were similar to those recorded in Qinghai Lake. The forest expanded in the mountains around Dalianhai during the B?lling-Aller?d period, shrank during the Younger Dryas and the early Holocene, then it developed and reached its maximum in the mid-Holocene. During the late Holocene, the vegetation began to shrink till disappearance. However, the timing of forest expansion in the Holocene lagged behind that of Qinghai Lake, and this spatial heterogeneity was probably caused by the different forest species between these two places. The maximum of forest development in the mid-Holocene was inconsistent with the period of stronger summer monsoon in the early Holocene indicated by stalagmite records, the reason might be related to the complexity of vegetation response to a large-scale climatic change.

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    Evolution of coordination degree of eco-economic system and early-warning in the Yangtze River Delta
    WANG Zhenbo, FANG Chuanglin, CHENG Shaowen, WANG Jing
    2013, 23 (1):  147-162.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-1000-3
    Abstract ( 548 )   PDF (767KB) ( 13 )   Save

    On the basis of Landsat TM data of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) Economic Zone in 1991, 2001 and 2008, this article, taking 90 counties in this region as study units, built spatial data transformation models, ecosystem service value (ESV) and coordination degree of eco-economic system (CDES) models. With the aid of ArcGIS9.3, mass grid and vector data has been processed for spatial analyses. ESV and CDES indexes have demonstrated the relationship between economic development and eco-environment system and its evolution characteristics in the researched areas. Furthermore, the indexes have also been used for functional zoning and pattern recognition. Some results can be shown as follows. Firstly, since 1991, land use in the YRD has greatly changed: urban land area has increased primarily from original paddy land, dry land, grassland, garden plot and other land. Secondly, the ESV model has proved the deterioration trend of the YRD ecological system from 1991 to 2001 and slower degradation trend during 2001-2008. Also, it is illustrated that land-use conversion from water area and paddy field to urban area and dry land could cause great damage to ecosystem stabilization. Thirdly, GDP in the central and southern parts of the YRD is higher than that in the northern part since 1991. GDP growth rate in the central part is higher than that in the northern part during 1991-2001. This growth rate in the central part is also higher than that in the southern and northern parts of the YRD from 2001 to 2008. Fourthly, the YRD could be categorized into 12 types of subregions in terms of CDES index. According to its spatial characteristic of CDES index value in the study area, eco-economic conflict area with low CDES value which is located in the central part is surrounded by eco-coordinated areas with high CDES values. This illustrates a core-periphery spatial structure exists in the YRD. During 1991-2001, the CDES value implied the convergent deterioration trend of eco-economic system in the study area; while it gradually stepped into coexistence of divergent deterioration and coordination during 2001-2008. Finally, this paper analyzed five subregions in the YRD, including initially degrading zone, initially coordinative zone, continuously degrading zone, coordination-declined zone and coordination-promoted zone, based on eco-economic coordination and evolution patterns. And these subregions can be recognized and categorized by spatial transformation model.

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    Evaluation and optimization of the spatial organization of the petrochemical industry in China
    LIU He, JIN Fengjun, LIU Yi, DING Jinxue, XU Xu
    2013, 23 (1):  163-178.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-1001-2
    Abstract ( 821 )   PDF (563KB) ( 15 )   Save

    The spatial organization of the Chinese petrochemical industry was optimized according to the status of development of the industry employing linear programming and ArcGIS spatial analysis tools. We first identified the indexes of the spatial organization of the petrochemical industry and established a comprehensive evaluation index system that includes four major categories and 11 indicators. The weight of each index was then determined by the analytical hierarchy process. Afterward, taking the 337 Chinese prefecture-level administrations as basic units and scientifically evaluating the potential comprehensive layout coefficients of the cities, 151 prefecture-level administrative units were selected as the basis for the choice of optimization sites with a linear programming model. Secondly, using the 151 prefecture-level administrative units and the maximum-coverage model, the optimal number and spatial distribution of refineries were identified for service radii of 100, 200 and 300 km. Thirdly, considering the actual distribution of China’s refineries, general rules for the number of refinery layout points and objective values were summarized, and 52 refinery layout points were selected for China. Finally, with ArcGIS spatial analysis tools, the spatial effect of the 52 optimal refinery layout points was simulated for the service scope and socioeconomic factors respectively, and the GDP and population data for each refinery layout point were then extracted within the service scope. On this basis and with estimation of the intensity of crude-oil consumption, final results were obtained for the optimal spatial organization of the Chinese refining capacity and ethylene production capacity.

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    Estimation of rural housing structure and its vulnerability in China
    GAO Xiaolu, JI Jue
    2013, 23 (1):  179-191.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-013-1002-1
    Abstract ( 585 )   PDF (614KB) ( 14 )   Save

    The damage of dwelling houses constitutes the primary cause of casualties and asset loss in seismic disasters that occurred in Chinese rural areas. The structure of houses is crucial for assessing the vulnerability of rural houses. However, at present, available data on rural housing structure are incomplete and their spatial scales are inconsistent. This paper estimated the amount and ratio of rural houses in five structures, namely ‘wood’, ‘brick’, ‘mixed’, ‘reinforced concrete’, and ‘other’, for 2380 counties across China. With the percentage sampling census data in 2005, four accuracy levels were specified. Then, a set of down-scaling models were established, where the impact of climate, economic development level and ethnic minority cultural factors on rural housing structure, as well as the spatial autocorrelation of neighboring spatial units were considered. Based on the estimation results, a database of county-level rural housing structure was established, based on which the vulnerability of rural houses in different areas was clarified.

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    SESEH 2012 Report
    ZHANG Chaosheng
    2013, 23 (1):  192-192. 
    Abstract ( 463 )   PDF (104KB) ( 13 )   Save

    The 2012 Sino-European Symposium on Environment and Health (SESEH 2012) was successfully held at National University of Ireland, Galway during August 20-25, 2012.

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