Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) is the energy source of plant photosynthesis, and the diffuse component can enhance canopy light use efficiency, thereby increasing the carbon uptake. Therefore, diffuse PAR is an important driving factor of ecosystem productivity models. In this study, we estimated the diffuse PAR of over 700 meteorological sites in China from 1981 to 2010 using an empirical model based on observational data from Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN) and China Meteorology Administration. Then we derived the spatial data set of 10 km monthly diffuse PAR using ANUSPLIN software, and analyzed the spatiotemporal variation characteristics of diffuse PAR through GIS and trend analysis techniques. The results showed that: (1) The spatial patterns of annual average diffuse PAR during 1981-2010 are heterogeneous across China, lower in the northeast and higher in the west and south. The nationwide average value for 30 years ranges from 6.66 mol m-2 d-1 to 15.27 mol m-2 d-1, and the value in summer is the biggest while the value in winter is the smallest. (2) There is an evident increasing trend of annual diffuse PAR during recent 30 years, with the increasing amplitude at 0.03 mol m-2 d-1/10a. But a significant declining trend is shown in the first 10 years, and obvious anomalies can be seen in 1982, 1983, 1991 and 1992. And there is a downtrend in spring and an uptrend in all the other seasons. (3) The spatial distribution of temporal variation rates of diffuse PAR is inhomogeneous across the country, generally decreasing in the north and increasing in the south.
GIMMS (Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies) NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) from 1982 to 2006 and MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) NDVI from 2001 to 2010 were blended to extract the grass coverage and analyze its spatial pattern. The response of grass coverage to climatic variations at annual and monthly time scales was analyzed. Grass coverage distribution had increased from northwest to southeast across China. During 1982-2010, the mean nationwide grass coverage was 34% but exhibited apparent spatial heterogeneity, being the highest (61.4%) in slope grasslands and the lowest (17.1%) in desert grasslands. There was a slight increase of the grass coverage with a rate of 0.17% per year. Increase in slope grasslands coverage was as high as 0.27% per year, while in the plain grasslands and meadows the grass coverage increase was the lowest (being 0.11% per year and 0.1% per year, respectively). Across China, the grass coverage with extremely significant increase (P<0.01) and significant increase (P<0.05) accounted for 46.03% and 11% of the total grassland area, respectively, while those with extremely significant and significant decrease accounted for only 4.1% and 3.24%, respectively. At the annual time scale, there are no significant correlations between grass coverage and annual mean temperature and precipitation. However, the grass coverage was somewhat affected by temperature in alpine and sub-alpine grassland, alpine and sub-alpine meadow, slope grassland and meadow, while grass coverage in desert grassland and plain grassland was more affected by precipitation. At the monthly time-scale, there are significant correlations between grass coverage with both temperature and precipitation, indicating that the grass coverage is more affected by seasonal fluctuations of hydrothermal conditions. Additionally, there is one-month time lag-effect between grass coverage and climate factors for each grassland types.
Global warming has been one of the major concerns behind the world’s high-speed economic growth. How to implement the coordinated development of the carbon footprint and the economy will be the core issue of the world’s economic and social development, as well as the heated debate of the research at home and abroad in recent years. Based on the energy consumption, integrated with the “Top-Down” life cycle approach and geographically weighted regression (GWR) model, this paper analyzed the spatial differences and multi-mechanism of carbon footprint in provincial China in 2010. Firstly, this study calculated the amount of carbon footprint of each province using “Top-Down” life cycle approach and found that there were significant differences of carbon footprint and per capita carbon footprint in provincial China. The provinces with higher carbon footprint, mainly located in northern China, have large economic scales; the provinces with higher per capita carbon footprint are mainly distributed in central cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and energy-rich regions and heavy chemical bases. Secondly, with the aid of GIS and spatial analysis model (GWR model), this paper had unfolded that the expansion of economic scale is the main driver of the rapid growth of carbon footprint. The growth of population and urbanization also acted as promoting factors for the increase of the carbon footprint. Energy structure had no considerable promoting effect for the increase of the carbon footprint. Improving energy efficiency is the most important factor to inhibit the growing carbon footprint. Thirdly, developing low-carbon economies and low-carbon industries, as well as advocating low-carbon city construction and improving carbon efficiency would be the primary approaches to inhibit the rapid growth of carbon footprint. Moderately controlling the economic scale and population size would also be required to alleviate carbon footprint. Meanwhile, environmental protection and construction of low-carbon cities would evoke extensive attention in the process of urbanization.
The sustainable development has been seriously challenged by global climate change due to carbon emissions. As a developing country, China promised to reduce 40%-45% below the level of the year 2005 on its carbon intensity by 2020. The realization of this target depends on not only the substantive transition of society and economy at the national scale, but also the action and share of energy saving and emissions reduction at the provincial scale. Based on the method provided by the IPCC, this paper examines the spatiotemporal dynamics and dominating factors of China’s carbon intensity from energy consumption in 1997-2010. The aim is to provide scientific basis for policy making on energy conservation and carbon emission reduction in China. The results are shown as follows. Firstly, China’s carbon emissions increased from 4.16 Gt to 11.29 Gt from 1997 to 2010, with an annual growth rate of 7.15%, which was much lower than that of GDP (11.72%). Secondly, the trend of Moran’s I indicated that China’s carbon intensity has a growing spatial agglomeration at the provincial scale. The provinces with either high or low values appeared to be path-dependent or space-locked to some extent. Third, according to spatial panel econometric model, energy intensity, energy structure, industrial structure and urbanization rate were the dominating factors shaping the spatiotemporal patterns of China’s carbon intensity from energy consumption. Therefore, in order to realize the targets of energy conservation and emission reduction, China should improve the efficiency of energy utilization, optimize energy and industrial structure, choose the low-carbon urbanization approach and implement regional cooperation strategy of energy conservation and emissions reduction.
Accurate and detailed accounting of energy-induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is crucial to the evaluation of pressures on natural resources and the environment, as well as to the assignment of responsibility for emission reductions. However, previous emission inventories were usually production- or consumption-based accounting, and few studies have comprehensively documented the linkages among socio-economic activities and external transaction in urban areas. Therefore, we address this gap in proposing an analytical framework and accounting system with three dimensions of boundaries to comprehensively assess urban energy use and related CO2 emissions. The analytical framework depicted the input, transformation, transfer and discharge process of the carbon-based (fossil) energy flows through the complex urban ecosystems, and defined the accounting scopes and boundaries on the strength of ‘carbon footprint’ and ‘urban metabolism’. The accounting system highlighted the assessment for the transfer and discharge of socio-economic subsystems with different spatial boundaries. Three kinds methods applied to Beijing City explicitly exhibited the accounting characteristics. Our research firstly suggests that urban carbon-based energy metabolism can be used to analyze the process and structure of urban energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Secondly, three kinds of accounting methods use different benchmarks to estimate urban energy use and CO2 emissions with their distinct strength and weakness. Thirdly, the empirical analysis in Beijing City demonstrate that the three kinds of methods are complementary and give different insights to discuss urban energy-induced CO2 emissions reduction. We deduce a conclusion that carbon reductions responsibility can be assigned in the light of production, consumption and shared responsibility based principles. Overall, from perspective of the industrial and energy restructuring and the residential lifestyle changes, our results shed new light on the analysis on the evolutionary mechanism and pattern of urban energy-induced CO2 emissions with the combination of three kinds of methods. And the spatial structure adjustment and technical progress provides further elements for consideration about the scenarios of change in urban energy use and CO2 emissions.
The temporal-spatial distribution features of prehistoric cultures since the Holocene in Zhejiang region were comparatively analyzed based on GIS spatial analysis. Results show that the prehistoric cultures expanded gradually in this region before 4000 cal. a BP. The notable expansions occurred twice, one in the Majiabang-Hemudu cultural period, the other in the Liangzhu cultural period. Meanwhile, the prehistoric cultures were disseminated from west to east coast along river valleys. After 4000 cal. a BP, as represented by the Maqiao Culture, the distributed area of each prehistoric culture contracted. This is obviously due to the termination of spreading trends to east coast, which was simultaneously accompanied by two different modes of production and economic transitions in the north and south Zhejiang region respectively. The distribution of prehistoric cultures was closely related with Holocene sea-level fluctuations, especially on the banks of Hangzhou Bay, where the distribution changes of prehistoric cultural sites were greatly affected by sea-level changes, with the closest relationships between them. After 7000 cal. a BP, the process of lowered sea-level and regression-epeirogenesis provided wider terrestrial living spaces for prehistoric inhabitants. Based on the comparative analyses of the changes of prehistoric cultures and the environmental evolution information recorded in the Qianmutian subalpine peat of Mt. Tianmu and muddy area on the inner shelf of the East China Sea, it is indicated that the changes of prehistoric cultures were synchronized with environmental changes in Zhejiang region. Before 4000 cal. a BP, the eastward expansion of prehistoric cultures in Zhejiang occurred under the background of the Holocene Optimum, and was the expansion and extension under the joint influences of agricultural civilization and maritime civilization. However, after 4000 cal. a BP, the geographical contraction of prehistoric cultures in Zhejiang occurred under the background of dry-cold climate trend and deterioration of coastal marine environment. It is evidenced from the above fact that the development, expansion and contraction of prehistoric cultures are positively correlated to environmental change. The change of the climatic environment is just the underlying reason for these changes and transitions of production modes and economic forms. Therefore, the climatic environment is the dominant factor of prehistoric culture vicissitudes in Zhejiang region, which has exerted great influence on distribution, dissemination, expansion and transmutation of the culture.
As one of the areas with numerous lakes on the Tibetan Plateau, the Hoh Xil region plays an extremely important role in the fragile plateau eco-environment. Based on topographic maps in the 1970s and Landsat TM/ETM+ remote sensing images in the 1990s and the period from 2000 to 2011, the data of 83 lakes with an area above 10 km2 each were obtained by digitization method and artificial visual interpretation technology, and the causes for lake variations were also analyzed. Some conclusions can be drawn as follows. (1) From the 1970s to 2011, the lakes in the Hoh Xil region firstly shrank and then expanded. In particular, the area of lakes generally decreased during the 1970s-1990s. Then the lakes expanded from the 1990s to 2000 and the area was slightly higher than that in the 1970s. The area of lakes dramatically increased after 2000. (2) From 2000 to 2011, the lakes with different area ranks in the Hoh Xil region showed an overall expansion trend. Meanwhile, some regional differences were also discovered. Most of the lakes expanded and were widely distributed in the northern, central and western parts of the region. Some lakes were merged together or overflowed due to their rapid expansion. A small number of lakes with the trend of area decrease or strong fluctuation were scattered in the central and southern parts of the study area. And their variations were related to their own supply conditions or hydraulic connection with the downstream lakes or rivers. (3) The increase in precipitation was the dominant factor resulting in the expansion of lakes in the Hoh Xil region. The secondary factor was the increase in meltwater from glaciers and frozen soil due to climate warming.
It is important to examine the lateral shift rate variation of river banks in different periods. One of the challenges in this regard is how to obtain the shift rate of river banks, as gauging stations are deficient for the study of river reaches. The present study selected the Yinchuan Plain reach of the Yellow River with a length of 196 km as a case study, and searched each point of intersection of 153 cross-sections (interval between two adjacent cross-sections was 1.3 km) and river banks in 1975, 1990, 2010 and 2011, which were plotted according to remote sensing images in those years. Then the shift rates for the points of intersection during 1975-1990, 1990-2010 and 2010-2011 were calculated, as well as the average shift rates for different sections and different periods. The results show that the left bank of the river reach shifts mostly to the right, with the average shift rates being 36.5 m/a, 27.8 m/a and 61.5 m/a in the three periods, respectively. Contemporarily, the right bank shifts mostly to the right in the first period, while it shifts to the left in the second and third periods, with the average shift rates being 31.7 m/a, 23.1 m/a and 50.8 m/a in the three periods, respectively. The average shift rates for the left and right banks during the period 1975-2011 are 22.3 m/a and 14.8 m/a, respectively. The bank shift rates for sections A, B and C are different. The shift rate ratio of the left bank in the three sections is 1:7.6:4.6 for shift to the left and 1:1.7:3.8 for shift to the right, while that of the right bank is 1:1.8:1.2 for shift to the left and 1:5.6:17.7 for shift to the right during the period 1975-2011. Obviously, the average shift rate is the least in section A, while it is maximum in section B for shift to the left and in section C for shift to the right. The temporal variation of the shift rate is influenced by human activities, while the spatial variation is controlled by the local difference in bank materials.
The delta evolution and erosion process of the abandoned Yellow River Delta (AYRD) have been extensively studied. However, the variation of sediment at a large littoral scale along the north coast of Jiangsu is less understood. In this study, the data of surface sediment samples obtained in the littoral area of the Yellow River Delta in 2006 and 2012 is used to study the sediment variability and sediment transport trends by using the geostatistics analysis tool and the grain size trend analysis model. In order to ensure the applicability of the model, the geostatistics method is used to determine the characteristic distance (Dc) with the average range value (Ao) of grain size parameter. Filtering method (removing data that not at a sampling station) is used to improve accuracy of data selection. The results show that sedimentary spatial correlation in Lianyun Port area and southern part of the abandoned Yellow River Delta (AS) is better than that in the northern part of the abandoned Yellow River Delta (AN). Sediment in the area is found to be anisotropy at the northeast-southeast direction. The grain size trend analysis reveals that the sediment trend is towards bayhead and southerly in the Haizhou Bay, southeasterly along the shoreline in the south Lianyun Port, northwesterly in AN and easterly-southeasterly in AS respectively. The investigation of possible relationships between Dc, Ao, sediment transport and delta evolution shows a close link between Dc and Ao of one sediment combination. It is also found that sediment transport trends could reasonably represent the delta evolution to a certain degree.
By using field-survey hydrological data of the related control stations in Dongting Lake and the Yangtze River mainstream in 1951-2010, the evolution characters of water exchange abilities between the two water bodies and their response to the operation of the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) from different time scales are analyzed based on their hydraulic relations. The results are shown as follows. Firstly, during July-September, the replenishment ability of Three Outlets to Dongting Lake is stronger, and in January-March, the replenishment ability of Dongting Lake to Yangtze River is stronger. Secondly, there has been an obvious inter-decadal wave on the water exchange coefficient between Dongting Lake and Yangtze River. In 1951-1958 and 1959-1968, the replenishment ability of Three Outlets to Dongting Lake was stronger, but in 2003-2010, the replenishment ability of Dongting Lake to Yangtze River has been strengthened. Thirdly, the spill-division ability of Three Outlets weakens, and the water of Dongting Lake coming from Three Outlets decreases either in typical years or under different dispatching modes of the TGR after the operation of the Three Gorges Reservoir. Furthermore, the water of Dongting Lake coming from Four Rivers takes the dominant position, which obviously enhances the replenishment ability of Dongting Lake to Yangtze River. Fourthly, if the effect of the runoff fluctuation in the basin is not considered, the evolution characters of the exchange capacities and the exchange process between Dongting Lake and Yangtze River in different time scales are generally changed with the variation of the water exchange amount between them, although the factors influencing the water exchange capacities between them is very complex. These show that there is an in-line growth or decline relation between the river-lake water exchange ability and the river-lake water exchange amount.
Understanding long-term human-environment interactions requires historical reconstruction of past land-use and land-cover changes. Most reconstructions have been based primarily on consistently available and relatively standardized information from historical sources. Based on available data sources and a retrospective research, in this paper we review the approaches and methods of the digital reconstruction and analyze their advantages and possible constraints in the following aspects: (1) Historical documents contain qualitative or semi-quantitative information about past land use, which also usually include land-cover data, but preparation of archival documents is very time-consuming. (2) Historical maps and pictures offer visual and spatial quantitative land-cover information. (3) Natural archive has significant advantages as a method for reconstructing past vegetation and has its unique possibilities especially when historical records are missing or lacking, but it has great limits of rebuilding certain land-cover types. (4) Historical reconstruction models have been gradually developed from empirical models to mechanistic ones. The method does not only reconstruct the quantity of land use/cover in historical periods, but it also reproduces the spatial distribution. Yet there are still few historical land-cover datasets with high spatial resolution. (5) Reconstruction method based on multiple-source data and multidisciplinary research could build historical land-cover from multiple perspectives, complement the missing data, verify reconstruction results and thus improve reconstruction accuracy. However, there are challenges that make the method still in the exploratory stage. This method can be a long-term development goal for the historical land-cover reconstruction. Researchers should focus on rebuilding historical land-cover dataset with high spatial resolution by developing new models so that the study results could be effectively applied in simulations of climatic and ecological effects.