Net primary productivity (NPP) is the most important index that represents the structure and function of the ecosystem. NPP can be simulated by dynamic global vegetation models (DGVM), which are designed to represent vegetation dynamics relative to environmental change. This study simulated the NPP of China's ecosystems based on the DGVM Integrated Biosphere Simulator (IBIS) with data on climate, soil, and topography. The applicability of IBIS in the NPP simulation of China's terrestrial ecosystems was verified first. Comparison with other relevant studies indicates that the range and mean value of simulations are generally within the limits of observations; the overall pattern and total annual NPP are close to the simulations conducted with other models. The simulations are also close to the NPP estimations based on remote sensing. Validation proved that IBIS can be utilized in the large-scale simulation of NPP in China's natural ecosystem. We then simulated NPP with climate change data from 1961 to 2005, when warming was particularly striking. The following are the results of the simulation. (1) Total NPP varied from 3.61 GtC/yr to 4.24 GtC/yr in the past 45 years and exhibited minimal significant linear increase or decrease. (2) Regional differences in the increase or decrease in NPP were large but exhibited an insignificant overall linear trend. NPP declined in most parts of eastern and central China, especially in the Loess Plateau. (3) Similar to the fluctuation law of annual NPP, seasonal NPP also displayed an insignificant increase or decrease; the trend line was within the general level. (4) The regional differences in seasonal NPP changes were large. NPP declined in spring, summer, and autumn in the Loess Plateau but increased in most parts of the Tibetan Plateau.
This study examined the spatial distribution of the continent coastline in northern China using remote sensing and GIS techniques, and calculated the fractal dimension of the coastline by box-counting method, with a time span from 2000 to 2012. Moreover, we analyzed the characteristics of spatial-temporal changes in the coastline's length and fractal dimension, the relationship between the length change and fractal dimension change, and the driving forces of coastline changes in northern China. During the research period, the coastline of the study area increased by 637.95 km, at a rate of 53.16 km per year. On the regional level, the most significant change in coastline length was observed in Tianjin and Hebei. Temporally, the northern China coastline grew faster after 2008. The most dramatic growth was found between 2010 and 2011, with an increasing rate of 2.49% per year. The fractal dimension of the coastline in northern China was increasing during the research period, and the most dramatic increase occurred in Bohai Rim. There is a strong-positive linear relationship between the historical coastline length and fractal dimension (the correlation coefficient was 0.9962). Through statistical analysis of a large number of local coastline changes, it can be found that the increase (or decrease) of local coastline length will, in most cases, lead to the increase (or decrease) of the whole coastline fractal dimension. Civil-coastal engineering construction was the most important factor driving the coastline change in northern China. Port construction, fisheries facilities and salt factories were the top three construction activities. Compared to human activities, the influence of natural processes such as estuarine deposit and erosion were relatively small.
Understanding the relationship between China's urbanization and economic development on a provincial scale is of profound theoretical and practical significance. Based on data from 124 countries or regions throughout the world and 31 provinces or autonomous regions in China, applying improved methods using the quadrant map approach, this paper analyzed the spatial pattern of the relationship between China's urbanization and economic development level. The study identified the following results. (1) The 31 province-level regions fall into six categories: only one region is in the category of sharp over-urbanization, 3 regions are in medium over-urbanization, 11 slight over-urbanization, 8 basic coordination, one medium under-urbanization, and seven slight under-urbanization. (2) There are significant regional differences on a provincial scale in the relationships between urbanization and the level of economic development. (3) The provincial pattern of urbanization and economic development is significantly different between east and west. The eastern coastal areas are mainly over-urbanized, while the central and western regions are mainly under-urbanized. (4) The relationship between urbanization and the level of economic development is similar to the Matthew effect. Hence, two important insights are proposed. First, the phenomenon of over-urbanization in some developed regions should be viewed with some concern and vigilance. Second, urbanization needs to be speeded up moderately in the central and western regions.
Esophageal cancer exhibits one of the highest incidence and mortality rates in China. Malignant tumors caused by esophageal cancer, and the relationship to environmental factors has been the focus of many public health studies. This study applied spatial analysis to ascertain the relationship between water pollution and esophageal cancer mortality rates nationwide. We employed two datasets, including a national investigation of esophageal cancer rates and distribution, and national water quality grades in China's primary rivers and lakes. Esophageal cancer data were grouped based on different water quality grades, which included a scaled buffer distance from rivers and lakes. Non-parametric correlation analyses were performed to examine the presence or absence of the following correlations: (i) esophageal cancer mortality and buffer distance from rivers and lakes; and (ii) esophageal cancer mortality and water quality grade values. The present study revealed a significant positive correlation between widespread water pollution and esophageal cancer mortality nationwide; and a significant negative correlation between esophageal cancer mortality, and buffer distance from rivers and lakes.
Based on daily maximum and minimum temperature observed by the China Meteorological Administration at 115 meteorological stations in the Yangtze River Basin from 1962 to 2011, the methods of linear regression, principal component analysis and correlation analysis are employed to investigate the temporal variability and spatial distribution of temperature extremes. Sixteen indices of extreme temperature are selected. The results are as follows: (1) The occurrence of cold days, cold nights, ice days, frost days and cold spell duration indicator has significantly decreased by -0.84, -2.78, -0.48, -3.29 and -0.67 days per decade, respectively. While the occurrence of warm days, warm nights, summer days, tropical nights, warm spell duration indicator and growing season length shows statistically significant increasing trends at rates of 2.24, 2.86, 2.93, 1.80, 0.83 and 2.30 days per decade, respectively. The tendency rate of the coldest day, coldest night, warmest day, warmest night and diurnal temperature range is 0.33, 0.47, 0.16, 0.19 and -0.07℃ per decade, respectively. (2) The magnitudes of changes in cold indices (cold nights, coldest day and coldest night) are obviously greater than those of warm indices (warm nights, warmest day and warmest night). The change ranges of night indices (warm nights and cold nights) are larger than those of day indices (warm days and cold days), which indicates that the change of day and night temperature is asymmetrical. (3) Spatially, the regionally averaged values of cold indices in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River Basin are larger than those in the middle and lower reaches. However, the regionally averaged values of most warm indices (except warm spell duration indicator) and growing season length in the middle and lower reaches are larger than those in the upper reaches. (4) The extreme temperature indices are well correlated with each other except diurnal temperature range.
Complex topography buffers forests against deforestation in mountainous regions. However, it is unknown if terrain also shapes forest distribution in lowlands where human impacts are likely to be less constrained by terrain. In such regions, if important at all, topographic effects will depend on cultural-historical factors and thus be human-driven (anthropogenic) rather than natural, except in regions where the general climate or extreme soils limit the occurrence of forests. We used spatial regression modeling to assess the extent to which topographic factors explain forest distribution (presence-absence at a 48×48 m resolution) in a lowland agricultural region (Denmark, 43,075 km2) at regional and landscape scales (whole study area and 10×10 km grid cells, respectively), how landscape-scale forest-topography relationships vary geographically, and which potential drivers (topographic heterogeneity, forest cover, clay content, coastal/inland location) determine this geographic heterogeneity. Given a moist temperate climate and non-extreme soils all landscapes in Denmark would naturally be largely forest covered, and any topographic relationships will be totally or primarily human-driven. At regional scale, topographic predictors explained only 5% of the distribution of forest. In contrast, the explanatory power of topography varied from 0%-61% at landscape scale, with clear geographic patterning. Explanatory power of topography at landscape scale was moderately dependent on the potential drivers, with topographic control being strongest in areas with high topographic heterogeneity and little forest cover. However, these conditioning effects were themselves geographically variable. Our findings show that topography by shaping human land-use can affect forest distribution even in flat, lowland regions, but especially via localized, geographically variable effects.
Climate change is likely to affect hydrological cycle through precipitation, evapotranspiration, soil moisture etc. In the present study, an attempt has been made to study the climate change and the sensitivity of estimated evapotranspiration to each climatic variable for a semi-arid region of Beijing in North China using data set from 1951 to 2010. Penman-Monteith method was used to calculate reference crop evapotranspiration (ETo). Changes of ETo to each climatic variable was estimated using a sensitivity analysis method proposed in this study. Results show that in the past 60 years, mean temperature and vapor pressure deficit (VPD) were significantly increasing, relative humidity and sunshine hours were significantly decreasing, and wind speed greatly oscillated without a significant trend. Total precipitation was significantly decreasing in corn season (from June to September), but it was increasing in wheat season (from October to next May). The change rates of temperature, relative humidity, VPD, wind speed, annual total precipitation, sunshine hours and solar radiation were 0.42℃, 1.47%, 0.04 kPa, 0.05 m·s-1, 25.0 mm, 74.0 hours and 90.7 MJ·m-2 per decade, respectively. In the past 60 years, yearly ETo was increasing with a rate of 19.5 mm per decade, and total ETos in wheat and corn seasons were increasing with rates of 13.1 and 5.3 mm per decade, respectively. Sensitivity analysis showed that mean air temperature was the first key factor for ETo change in the past 60 years, causing an annual total ETo increase of 7.4%, followed by relative humidity (5.5%) and sunshine hours (-3.1%); the less sensitivity factors were wind speed (0.7%), minimum temperature (-0.3%) and maximum temperature (-0.2%). A greater reduction of total ETo (12.3%) in the past 60 years was found in wheat season, mainly because of mean temperature (8.6%) and relative humidity (5.4%), as compared to a reduction of 6.0% in ETo during corn season due to sunshine hours (-6.9%), relative humidity (4.7%) and temperature (4.5%). Increasing precipitation in the wheat season will improve crop growth, while decreasing precipitation and increasing ETo in the corn season induces a great pressure for local government and farmers to use water more efficiently by widely adopting water-saving technologies in the future.
The estimation of surface evapotranspiration (ET) with satellite dataset is one of the main subjects in the understanding of climate change, disaster monitoring and the circulation of water vapor and energy in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). This research selects satellite images on January 11, April 6, July 31 and October 19 in 2010 as the representative of winter, spring, summer and autumn respectively, estimates the distribution of daily surface ET based on the surface energy balance system (SEBS) along with potential evapotranspiration (PET) and ET derived from Penman-Monteith (P-M) method. The results are obtained as follows. (1) The seasonal distribution of ET and PET basically decreases from the southeast part to the northwest part of TAR. Although ET and PET have similar spatial distributions, there are still some differences to estimate the extreme values especially the maximum value in the middle and southeastern parts of TAR. No matter what kind of methods we adopted, the maximum value of ET and PET always appears in summer, followed by autumn or spring while that in winter is the smallest. (2) In order to better understand the accuracy of SEBS model in the estimation of ET, we compared the ET from SEBS and the ET obtained from P-M method. Results show that the ET from SEBS could estimates the variation trend of actual ET, but it slightly underestimates or overestimates the value of ET as a whole, especially for those areas with thick forest. (3) The spatial distribution of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) exhibits a decreasing trend from the southeast part to the northwest part of TAR which displays remarkable consistency of distributions between ET and vegetation index. ET is well positively related to NDVI, minimum, mean, maximum air temperature and sunshine duration in different seasons while negatively related to precipitation, relative humidity and wind speed in summer.
Based on the analysis of suspended sediment elements at estuaries, influence of human activities and estuarine regulation projects on the turbidity maximum zone was studied according to the measurement data between 1959 and 2011. It was found that human activities had little effect on the seaward water while the sharp decrease of sediment volume and concentration in runoff led to the sharp decrease of turbidity maximum zone in the estuary. The concentration at outside sea and Hangzhou Bay did not change, and that along the Subei coast also decreased a little, which had no influence on the turbidity maximum zone. Compared with the concentration between 1959 and 1999, the peak of concentration moved upstream in the estuary, and the concentration in 2000-2009 decreased by about 24.73% with a narrower variation range along the river to the sea. The suspended sediment concentration in North Passage was low in upstream and downstream because of the decrease of seaward sediment and coarsening of bed material, while it was relatively high in the middle due to the influence of sediment cross the north jetty.
Transport of organic carbon via rivers to estuary is a significant geochemical process in the global carbon cycle. This paper presents bulk total organic carbon (TOC) from the Dongjiang catchment to the adjacent Humen outlet, and discusses the applicability of δ13C and ratio of carbon to nitrogen (C/N) as indicators for sources of organic matter in the surface sediments. Survey results showed that organic carbon concentration in summer were higher than in the winter. An elevated trend of TOC occurred along the river to the Humen outlet in both surveys, and the highest mean values of dissolved and particular organic carbon (DOC~279 μmol L-1 and POC~163 μmol L-1) were observed in the urban deltaic region in summer flood flow. Winter samples had a wide range of δ13C and C/N (δ13C -24.6‰ to -30.0‰, C/N 4-13), and summer ones varied slightly (δ13C -24.2‰ to -27.6‰, C/N 6-18). As results suggest that POC in the three zones of upstream-delta-outlet dominantly came from riverbank soil, phytoplankton and agricultural C3 plants in winter, whereas main sources were from the riverbank and mangrove soil in summer. Moreover, anthropogenic sewage inputs had 11% and 7% contribution to POC in the deltaic and outlet. Transport accompanied with seasonal freshwater variation, phytoplankton production and degradation, and removal behavior caused variation of organic carbon concentration. The results also discovered that TOC export bulk in Dongjiang was approximately one quarter of Humen flux in the dry flow, and anthropogenic activity significantly impacted the river export contribution.
Urban carbon footprint reflects the impact and pressure of human activities on urban environment. Based on city level, this paper estimated carbon emissions and carbon footprint of Nanjing city, analyzed urban carbon footprint intensity and carbon cycle pressure and discussed the influencing factors of carbon footprint through LMDI decomposition model. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) The total carbon emissions of Nanjing increased rapidly since 2000, in which the carbon emission from the use of fossil energy was the largest. Meanwhile, carbon sinks of Nanjing presented a declining trend since 2000, which caused the decrease of carbon compensation rate and the increase of urban carbon cycle pressure. (2) The total carbon footprint of Nanjing increased rapidly since 2000, and the carbon deficit was more than ten times of total land areas of Nanjing in 2009, which means Nanjing confronted high carbon cycle pressure. (3) Generally, carbon footprint intensity of Nanjing was on decrease and the carbon footprint productivity was on increase. This indicated that energy utilization rate and carbon efficiency of Nanjing was improved since 2000, and the policy for energy conservation and emission reduction taken by Nanjing's government received better effects. (4) Economic development, population and industrial structure are promoting factors for the increase of carbon footprint of Nanjing, while the industrial carbon footprint intensity was inhibitory factor. (5) Several countermeasures should be taken to decrease urban carbon footprint and alleviate carbon cycle pressure, such as: improvement of the energy efficiency, industrial structure reconstruction, afforestation and environmental protection and land use control. Generally, transition to low-carbon economy is essential for Chinese cities to realize sustainable development in the future.
Sandy desert landscape is a geological product of arid climate and abundant sand materials supply in natural conditions, therefore the formation of sandy desert is an ideal studying object for understanding the interaction between various stratigraphic/epigenetic spheres of the earth system. However, until now, the knowledge about the provenance and formation of these deserts in Xinjiang, Central Asia is diverse and inconsistent, a systematic review is necessary. Ancient aeolian sand sediments in the internal areas of these deserts and their twin dust deposits in the Cenozoic strata surrounding the Xinjiang deserts are direct and indirect clues reflecting the provenance of sand materials and the formation and evolution of deserts. Based on the geochemical, mineralogical and isotopic evidences of desert sands and relevant deposits in the peripheral regions, this paper reviews the research progress on the development of the sandy deserts in Xinjiang, Northwest China. Many proofs proposed that desert sands in Xinjiang were mainly sourced from the ancient pluvial, alluvial and fluvial sediments and were eventually achieved because of the local sand supply. It pointed out that the settings of tectonic structure in Xinjiang had made sediments both in the Tarim Basin and the Junggar Basin being influenced greatly by regional hydrological system and aeolian processes originated from the planetary wind system of westerly, the East Asian winter monsoon and the topographical mountain-valley winds. However, the directions of transportation paths are different between the hydrological dynamics and the aeolian dynamics, which are decided by the slantwise structures of the basins tectonics and the regional atmospheric circulation routes, respectively, and have determined anisotropies of the transport pathway of these sediments delivered by different agents. This results in a geological cycle of detrital sediment transportation in the two large basins and thus largely increases the degree of sediment mixing, alternation and recycle between younger and older sediment sources, as well as the complexity and diversity of sand provenances.