In this study, we explored spatial patterns and the temporal trends in high-temperature events (HTEs) for the mainland of China during 1961-2014 based on a daily- maximum surface-air-temperature dataset of 494 stations and nonparametric trend detection methods. With three thresholds of 35°C (HTE35), 37°C (HTE37), and 40°C (HTE40), HTEs occurred in 82%, 71%, and 37% of the surveyed stations and showed an overall increasing trend in both frequency and intensity during 1961-2014. In northern and southeastern China, HTEs showed a significant increasing trend in both frequency and intensity, whilst a decreasing trend for both was observed in central China. Despite such regional heterogeneity, HTEs overwhelmingly presented three-phase characteristics in all three representative regions and throughout China; the phases are 1961-1980, 1980-1990, and 1990-2014. Both frequency and intensity of HTEs have strongly increased during 1990-2014 at 54.86%, 48.38%, and 23.28% of the investigated stations for HTE35, HTE37 and HTE40, respectively. These findings implied that HTEs adaptation should be paid further attention in the future over China because the wide spread distribution of HTEs and their increasing trends in both frequency and intensity during recent decades might pose challenges to the sustainability of human society and the ecosystem.
In this study, the spatial distribution and changing trends of agricultural heat and precipitation resources in Northeast China were analyzed to explore the impacts of future climate changes on agroclimatic resources in the region. This research is based on the output meteorological data from the regional climate model system for Northeast China from 2005 to 2099, under low and high radiative forcing scenarios RCP4.5 (low emission scenario) and RCP8.5 (high emission scenario) as proposed in IPCC AR5. Model outputs under the baseline scenario, and RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios were assimilated with observed data from 91 meteorological stations in Northeast China from 1961 to 2010 to perform the analyses. The results indicate that: (1) The spatial distribution of temperature decreases from south to north, and the temperature is projected to increase in all regions, especially under a high emission scenario. The average annual temperature under the baseline scenario is 7.70°C, and the average annual temperatures under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 are 9.67°C and 10.66°C, respectively. Other agricultural heat resources change in accordance with temperature changes. Specifically, the first day with temperatures ≥10°C arrives 3 to 4 d earlier, the first frost date is delayed by 2 to 6 d, and the duration of the growing season is lengthened by 4 to 10 d, and the accumulated temperature increases by 400 to 700°C·d. Water resources exhibit slight but not significant increases. (2) While the historical temperature increase rate is 0.35°C/10a, the rate of future temperature increase is the highest under the RCP8.5 scenario at 0.48°C/10a, compared to 0.19°C/10a under the RCP4.5 scenario. In the later part of this century, the trend of temperature increase is significantly faster under the RCP8.5 scenario than under the RCP4.5 scenario, with faster increases in the northern region. Other agricultural heat resources exhibit similar trends as temperature, but with different specific spatial distributions. Precipitation in the growing season generally shows an increasing but insignificant trend in the future, with relatively large yearly fluctuations. Precipitation in the eastern region is projected to increase, while a decrease is expected in the western region. The future climate in Northeast China will change towards higher temperature and humidity. The heat resource will increase globally, however its disparity with the change in precipitation may negatively affect agricultural activities.
The quantitative effect of climate change on fragile regions has been a hot topic in the field of responses to climate change. Previous studies have qualitatively documented the impacts of climate change on boundary shifts in the farming-pastoral ecotone (FPE); however, the quantitative methods for detecting climate contributions remain relatively limited. Based on long-term data of meteorological stations and interpretations of land use since 1970, climate and land use boundaries of the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s were delineated. To detect climate contributions to the FPE boundary shifts, we developed two quantitative methods to explore the spatial-temporal pattern of climate and land use boundary at the east-west (or south-north) (FishNet method) and transect directions (Digital Shoreline Analysis System, DSAS method). The results indicated that significant differences were exhibited in climate boundaries, land use boundaries, as well as climate contributions in different regions during different periods. The northwest FPE had smaller variations, while the northeast FPE had greater shifts. In the northwest part of the southeast fringe of the Greater Hinggan Mountains and the Inner Mongolian Plateau, the shifts of climate boundaries were significantly related to the land use boundaries. The climate contributions at an east-west direction ranged from 10.7% to 44.4%, and those at a south-north direction varied from 4.7% to 55.9%. The majority of the results from the DSAS were consistent with those from the FishNet. The DSAS method is more accurate and suitable for precise detection at a small scale, whereas the FishNet method is simple to conduct statistical analysis rapidly and directly at a large scale. Our research will be helpful to adapt to climate change, to develop the productive potential, as well as to protect the environment of the FPE in northern China.
With the global warming, crop phenological shifts in responses to climate change have become a hot research topic. Based on the long-term observed agro-meteorological phenological data (1981-2009) and meteorological data, we quantitatively analyzed temporal and spatial shifts in maize phenology and their sensitivities to key climate factors change using climate tendency rate and sensitivity analysis methods. Results indicated that the sowing date was significantly delayed and the delay tendency rate was 9.0 d·10a-1. But the stages from emergence to maturity occurred earlier (0.1 d·10a-1<θ<1.7 d·10a-1, θ is the change slope of maize phenology). The length of vegetative period (VPL) (from emergence to tasseling) was shortened by 0.9 d·10a-1, while the length of generative period (GPL) (from tasseling to maturity) was lengthened by 1.7 d·10a-1. The growing season length (GSL) (from emergence to maturity) was lengthened by 0.4 d·10a-1. Correlation analysis indicated that maize phenology was significantly correlated with average temperature, precipitation, sunshine duration and growing degree days (GDD) (p<0.01). Average temperature had significant negative correlation relationship, while precipitation, sunshine duration and growing degree days had significant positive correlations with maize phenology. Sensitivity analysis indicated that maize phenology showed different responses to variations in key climate factors, especially at different sites. The conclusions of this research could provide scientific supports for agricultural adaptation to climate change to address the global food security issue.
Response and feedback of land surface process to climate change is one of the research priorities in the field of geoscience. The current study paid more attention to the impacts of global change on land surface process, but the feedback of land surface process to climate change has been poorly understood. It is becoming more and more meaningful under the framework of Earth system science to understand systematically the relationships between agricultural phenology dynamic and biophysical process, as well as the feedback on climate. In this paper, we summarized the research progress in this field, including the fact of agricultural phenology change, parameterization of phenology dynamic in land surface progress model, the influence of agricultural phenology dynamic on biophysical process, as well as its feedback on climate. The results showed that the agriculture phenophase, represented by the key phenological phases such as sowing, flowering and maturity, had shifted significantly due to the impacts of climate change and agronomic management. The digital expressions of land surface dynamic process, as well as the biophysical process and atmospheric process, were improved by coupling phenology dynamic in land surface model. The agricultural phenology dynamic had influenced net radiation, latent heat, sensible heat, albedo, temperature, precipitation, circulation, playing an important role in the surface energy partitioning and climate feedback. Considering the importance of agricultural phenology dynamic in land surface biophysical process and climate feedback, the following research priorities should be stressed: (1) the interactions between climate change and land surface phenology dynamic; (2) the relations between agricultural phenology dynamic and land surface reflectivity at different spectrums; (3) the contributions of crop physiology characteristic changes to land surface biophysical process; (4) the regional differences of climate feedbacks from phenology dynamic in different climate zones. This review is helpful to accelerate understanding of the role of agricultural phenology dynamic in land surface process and climate feedback.
The study on the relationship of abandoned settlements and climate change in the oases could provide a historical reference for understanding human responses to present and future global warming in the arid zone. A total of 554 abandoned historical settlements in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China, were used to examine the relationship between abandoned settlements and temperature change over the past 2000 years. The analysis covered dynastic epochs from the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) to the Qing Dynasty (1644AD- 1911AD) in the oases of Xinjiang. Greater density of settlements was found at the oases larger than 2000 km2, which were more stable and less sensitive to climate change compared to smaller oases. Settlements flourished at small oases and the middle and lower reaches of rivers during warm periods and shrank back to piedmont basins and upstream alluvial fans during cold periods. These results demonstrated responses of oasis agriculture to climate change.
The hydrochemistry of alpine lakes reflects water characteristic and its response to climatic change. Over 300 water samples had been collected from 52 sites of 5 lakes and 7 inflowing rivers in the Yamzhog Yumco Basin, South Tibet, during 2009-2014, basing which the hydrochemical regime and its mechanism were analyzed along with the adoption of hydrological investigations in 1979 and 1984 as well. Results revealed that the waters were hard with weak alkalinity for the Yamzhog Yumco Basin. Most of them were fresh, and the rest were slightly saline. The hydrochemical types of 5 lakes (i.e., Lake Yamzhog Yum Co, Puma Yum Co, Bajiu Co, Kongmu Co, and Chen Co) were SO42--HCO3--Mg2+-Na+, HCO3-- SO42--Mg2+-Ca2+, SO42--Mg2+-Na+, SO42--HCO3--Ca2+, and SO42--Na+-Mg2+-Ca2+, respectively. As for rivers, HCO3- and SO42- were the major anions, and Ca2+ was the dominant cation. Lake Yamzhog Yum Co, the largest lake in the basin, exhibited remarkable spatial variations in hydrochemistry at its surface but irregular changes with depth. The weathering of evaporates and carbonates, together with evaporation and crystallization, were the major mechanisms controlling the hydrochemistry of waters in the Yamzhog Yumco Basin. Global warming also had significant impacts on hydrochemical variations.
Since the 1950s, noteworthy farmland abandonment has been occurring in many developed countries and some developing countries. This global land use phenomenon has fundamentally altered extensive rural landscapes. A review of global farmland abandonment under the headings of “land use change - driving mechanisms - impacts and consequences - policy responses” found the following: (1) Farmland abandonment has occurred primarily in developed countries in Europe and North America, but the extent of abandonment has varied significantly. (2) Changing socio-economic factors were the primary driving forces for the farmland abandonment. And land marginalization was the fundamental cause, which was due to the drastic increase of farming opportunity cost, while the direct factor for abandonment was the shrink of agricultural labor forces. (3) Whether to abandon, to what extent and its spatial distributions were finally dependent on integrated effect from the physical conditions, laborer attributes, farming and regional socio-economic conditions at the village, household and parcel scales. With the exception of Eastern Europe, farmland abandonment was more likely to occur in mountainous and hilly areas, due to their unfavorable farming conditions. (4) A study of farmland abandonment should focus on its ecological and environmental effects, while which is more positive or more negative are still in dispute. (5) Increasing agricultural subsidies will be conductive to slowing the rate of farmland abandonment, but this is not the only measure that needs to be implemented.
Due to China’s rapid urbanization, there is a high probability that the rate of abandonment will increase in the near future. However, very little research has focused on this rapid land-use trend in China, and, as a result, there is an inadequate understanding of the dynamic mechanisms and consequences of this phenomenon. This paper concludes by suggesting some future directions for further research in China. These directions include monitoring regional and national abandonment dynamics, analyzing trends, assessing the risks and socio-economic effects of farmland abandonment, and informing policy making.