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1. chinaXiv:202006.00223 [pdf]

Market opportunities do not explain the ability of herders to meet livelihood objectives over winter on the Mongolian Plateau

BAI Haihua; YIN Yanting; Jane ADDISON; HOU Yulu; WANG Linhe; HOU Xiangyang
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Drylands under pastoral land use are considered one of the most vulnerable social-ecological systems to global climate change, but the herders' abilities to adapt to the different extreme weather events have received little attention in the drylands. Herders on the Mongolian Plateau (MP; including Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China and Mongolia), have had a long history of adapting climatic variability and extreme weather events. However, it is unclear how changes such as increased levels of infrastructure and market integration affect the ability of herders to achieve the key livelihood objectives: the minimisation of the death and abortion rates of livestock in the winter. Here, we used remotely sensed and household survey data to map, model and explore the climate exposure and sensitivity of herders in the settled area (Inner Mongolia of China) and nomadic area (Mongolia) in the winter of 2012–2013. We aimed to quantify the multi-scaled characteristics of both climate exposure and sensitivity through the lens of key adaptive strategies utilized by herders. Our results showed that the higher levels of infrastructure and market integration, and the lower levels of remoteness on the MP did not increase the herders' ability to achieve the key livelihood objectives. Our results also suggested that exposure to the snow that is comparatively greater than the long-term average (cumulative exposure) may be more important in determining the social-ecological vulnerability than absolute exposure. We suggested that neither the risk management strategies available to these herders, nor the demographic variables, could compensate for the mode of production governing the pastoral systems. Our study could provide further evidence for the complex and scaled nature of climate exposure and sensitivity, and the results imply that any analysis of the relationship among exposure, sensitivity and vulnerability of pastoral households to climate change in the drylands will require a multi-scaled and interdisciplinary approach.

submitted time 2020-06-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits7522Downloads290 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:202006.00236 [pdf]

Prediction of meteorological drought in arid and semi-arid regions using PDSI and SDSM: a case study in Fars Province, Iran

Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Drought is one of the most significant environmental disasters, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. Drought indices as a tool for management practices seeking to deal with the drought phenomenon are widely used around the world. One of these indicators is the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI), which is used in many parts of the world to assess the drought situation and continuation. In this study, the drought state of Fars Province in Iran was evaluated by using the PDSI over 1995–2014 according to meteorological data from six weather stations in the province. A statistical downscaling model (SDSM) was used to apply the output results of the general circulation model in Fars Province. To implement data processing and prediction of climate data, a statistical period 1995–2014 was considered as the monitoring period, and a statistical period 2019–2048 was for the prediction period. The results revealed that there is a good agreement between the simulated precipitation (R2>0.63; R2, determination coefficient; MAE<0.52; MAE, mean absolute error; RMSE<0.56; RMSE, Root Mean Squared Error) and temperature (R2>0.95, MAE<1.74, and RMSE<1.78) with the observed data from the stations. The results of the drought monitoring model presented that dry periods would increase over the next three decades as compared to the historical data. The studies showed the highest drought in the meteorological stations Abadeh and Lar during the prediction period under two future scenarios representative concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). According to the results of the validation periods and efficiency criteria, we suggest that the SDSM is a proper tool for predicting drought in arid and semi-arid regions.

submitted time 2020-06-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits2671Downloads147 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:202006.00238 [pdf]

Assessing the collapse risk of Stipa bungeana grassland in China based on its distribution changes

QIAO Xianguo; GUO Ke; LI Guoqing; ZHAO Liqing; LI Frank Yonghong; GAO Chenguang
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

The criteria used by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for its Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) are the global standards for ecosystem-level risk assessment, and they have been increasingly used for biodiversity conservation. The changed distribution area of an ecosystem is one of the key criteria in such assessments. The Stipa bungeana grassland is one of the most widely distributed grasslands in the warm-temperate semi-arid regions of China. However, the total distribution area of this grassland was noted to have shrunk and become fragmented because of its conversion to cropland and grazing-induced degradation. Following the IUCN-RLE standards, here we analyzed changes in the geographical distribution of this degraded grassland, to evaluate its degradation and risk of collapse. Past (1950–1980) distribution areas were extracted from the Vegetation Map of China (1:1,000,000). Present realizable distribution areas were equated to these past areas minus any habitat area losses. We then predicted the grassland's present and future (under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 scenario) potential distribution areas using maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt), based on field survey data and nine environmental layers. Our results showed that the S. bungeana grassland was mainly distributed in the Loess Plateau, Hexi Corridor, and low altitudes of the Qilian Mountains and Longshou Mountain. This ecosystem occurred mainly on loess soils, kastanozems, steppe aeolian soils and sierozems. Thermal and edaphic factors were the most important factors limiting the distribution of S. bungeana grassland across China. Since 56.1% of its past distribution area (4.9×104 km2) disappeared in the last 50 a, the present realizable distribution area only amounts to 2.2×104 km2. But only 15.7% of its present potential distribution area (14.0×104 km2) is actually occupied by the S. bungeana grassland. The future potential distribution of S. bungeana grassland was predicted to shift towards northwest, and the total area of this ecosystem will shrink by 12.4% over the next 50 a under the most pessimistic climate change scenario. Accordingly, following the IUCN-RLE criteria, we deemed the S. bungeana grassland ecosystem in China to be endangered (EN). Revegetation projects and the establishment of protected areas are recommended as effective ways to avert this looming crisis. This empirical modeling study provides an example of how IUCN-RLE categories and criteria may be valuably used for ecosystem assessments in China and abroad.

submitted time 2020-06-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3970Downloads157 Comment 0

4. chinaXiv:201909.00007 [pdf]

Community phylogenetic structure of grasslands and its relationship with environmental factors on the Mongolian Plateau

Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

The community assembly rules and species coexistence have always been interested by ecologists. The community phylogenetic structure is the consequence of the interaction process between the organisms and the abiotic environment and has been used to explain the relative impact of abiotic and biotic factors on species co-existence. In recent years, grassland degradation and biodiversity loss have become increasingly severe on the Mongolian Plateau, while the drivers for these changes are not clearly explored, especially whether climate change is a main factor is debated in academia. In this study, we examined the phylogenetic structure of grassland communities along five transects of climate aridity on the Mongolian Plateau, and analyzed their relations with environmental factors, with the aims to understand the formation mechanism of the grassland communities and the role of climatic factors. We surveyed grassland communities at 81 sites along the five transects, and calculated their net relatedness index (NRI) at two different quadrat scales (small scale of 1 m2 and large scale of 5 m2) to characterize the community phylogenetic structure and analyze its relationship with the key 11 environmental factors. We also calculated the generalized UniFrac distance (GUniFrac) among the grassland communities to quantify the influence of spatial distance and environmental distance on the phylogenetic β diversity. The results indicated that plant community survey using the large scale quadrat contained sufficient species to represent community compositions. The community phylogenetic structure of grasslands was significantly overdispersed at both the small and large scales, and the degree of overdispersion was greater at the large scale than at the small scale, suggesting that competitive exclusion instead of habitat filtering played a major role in determination of community composition. Altitude was the main factor affecting the community phylogenetic structure, whereas climatic factors, such as precipitation and temperature, had limited influence. The principal component analysis of the 11 environmental factors revealed that 94.04% of their variation was accounted by the first four principal components. Moreover only 14.29% and 23.26% of the variation in community phylogenetic structure were explained by the first four principal components at the small and large scales, respectively. Phylogenetic β diversity was slightly significantly correlated with both spatial distance and environmental distance, however, environmental distance had a less explanatory power than spatial distance, indicating a limited environmental effect on the community phylogenetic structure of grasslands on the Mongolian Plateau. In view of the limited effect of climatic factors on the community phylogenetic structure of grasslands, climate change may have a smaller impact on grassland degradation than previously thought.

submitted time 2019-08-30 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits10289Downloads408 Comment 0

5. chinaXiv:201906.00045 [pdf]

A cultivated area forecasting approach in artificial oases under climate change and human activities

ZHANG Shaobo; CHEN Fulong
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

The cultivated area in artificial oases is deeply influenced by global climate change and human activities. Thus, forecasting cultivated area in artificial oases under climate change and human activities is of great significance. In this study, an approach named GD-HM-PSWROAM, consisting of general circulation model downscaling (GD), hydrological model (HM), and planting structure and water resource optimal allocation model (PSWROAM), was developed and applied in the irrigation district of the Manas River Basin in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China to forecast the cultivated area tendency. Furthermore, the catchment export of the MIKE11 HD/NAM model was set to the Kensiwate hydrological station. The results show that the downscaling effects of temperature can be fairly satisfying, while those of precipitation may be not satisfying but acceptable. Simulation capacity of the MIKE11 HD/NAM model on the discharge in the Kensiwate hydrological station can meet the requirements of running the PSWROAM. The accuracy of the PSWROAM indicated that this model can perform well in predicting the change of cultivated area at the decadal scale. The cultivated area in the Manas River Basin under current human activities may be generally decreasing due to the climate change. But the adverse effects of climate change can be weakened or even eliminated through positive human activities. The cultivated area in the Manas River Basin may even be increasing under assumed human activities and future climate scenarios. The effects of human activities in the future can be generally predicted and quantified according to the cultivated area trends under current human activities and the situations in the study area. Overall, it is rational and acceptable to forecast the cultivated area tendency in artificial oases under future climate change and human activities through the GD-HM-PSWROAM approach.

submitted time 2019-06-20 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits7868Downloads509 Comment 0

6. chinaXiv:201903.00242 [pdf]

Hydrological and water cycle processes of inland river basins in the arid region of Northwest China

CHEN Yaning; LI Baofu; FAN Yuting
Subjects: Geosciences >> Hydrology

The increasing shortage in water resources is a key factor affecting sustainable socio-economic development in the arid region of Northwest China (ARNC). Water shortages also affect the stability of the region's oasis ecosystem. This paper summarizes the hydrological processes and water cycle of inland river basins in the ARNC, focusing on the following aspects: the spatial-temporal features of water resources (including air water vapor resources, runoff, and glacial meltwater) and their driving forces; the characteristics of streamflow composition in the inland river basins; the characteristics and main controlling factors of baseflow in the inland rivers; and anticipated future changes in hydrological processes and water resources. The results indicate that: (1) although the runoff in most inland rivers in the ARNC showed a significant increasing trend, both the glaciated area and glacial ice reserves have been reduced in the mountains; (2) snow melt and glacier melt are extremely important hydrological processes in the ARNC, especially in the Kunlun and Tianshan mountains; (3) baseflow in the inland rivers of the ARNC is the result of climate change and human activities, with the main driving factors being the reduction in forest area and the over-exploitation and utilization of groundwater in the river basins; and (4) the contradictions among water resources, ecology and economy will further increase in the future. The findings of this study might also help strengthen the ecological, economic and social sustainable development in the study region.

submitted time 2019-03-28 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits2517Downloads1107 Comment 0

7. chinaXiv:201901.00114 [pdf]

Climate change, water resources and sustainable development in the arid and semi-arid lands of Central Asia in the past 30 years

YU Yang; PI Yuanyue; YU Xiang
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

The countries of Central Asia are collectively known as the five ''-stans'': Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. In recent times, the Central Asian region has been affected by the shrinkage of the Aral Sea, widespread desertification, soil salinization, biodiversity loss, frequent sand storms, and many other ecological disasters. This paper is a review article based upon the collection, identification and collation of previous studies of environmental changes and regional developments in Central Asia in the past 30 years. Most recent studies have reached a consensus that the temperature rise in Central Asia is occurring faster than the global average. This warming trend will not only result in a higher evaporation in the basin oases, but also to a significant retreat of glaciers in the mountainous areas. Water is the key to sustainable development in the arid and semi-arid regions in Central Asia. The uneven distribution, over consumption, and pollution of water resources in Central Asia have caused severe water supply problems, which have been affecting regional harmony and development for the past 30 years. The widespread and significant land use changes in the 1990s could be used to improve our understanding of natural variability and human interaction in the region. There has been a positive trend of trans-border cooperation among the Central Asian countries in recent years. International attention has grown and research projects have been initiated to provide water and ecosystem protection in Central Asia. However, the agreements that have been reached might not be able to deliver practical action in time to prevent severe ecological disasters. Water management should be based on hydrographic borders and ministries should be able to make timely decisions without political intervention. Fully integrated management of water resources, land use and industrial development is essential in Central Asia. The ecological crisis should provide sufficient motivation to reach a consensus on unified water management throughout the region.

submitted time 2019-01-17 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3741Downloads587 Comment 0

8. chinaXiv:201810.00184 [pdf]

Simulating hydrological responses to climate change using dynamic and statistical downscaling methods: a case study in the Kaidu River Basin, Xinjiang, China

BA Wulong; DU Pengfei; LIU Tie; BAO Anming; LUO Min; Mujtaba HASSAN; QIN Chengxin
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Climate change may affect water resources by altering various processes in natural ecosystems. Dynamic and statistical downscaling methods are commonly used to assess the impacts of climate change on water resources. Objectively, both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. In the present study, we assessed the impacts of climate change on water resources during the future periods (2020–2029 and 2040–2049) in the upper reaches of the Kaidu River Basin, Xinjiang, China, and discussed the uncertainties in the research processes by integrating dynamic and statistical downscaling methods (regional climate models (RCMs) and general circulation modes (GCMs)) and utilizing these outputs. The reference period for this study is 1990–1999. The climate change trend is represented by three bias-corrected RCMs (i.e., Hadley Centre Global Environmental Model version 3 regional climate model (HadGEM3-RA), Regional Climate Model version 4 (RegCM4), and Seoul National University Meso-scale Model version 5 (SUN-MM5)) and an ensemble of GCMs on the basis of delta change method under two future scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). We applied the hydrological SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model which uses the RCMs/GCMs outputs as input to analyze the impacts of climate change on the stream flow and peak flow of the upper reaches of the Kaidu River Basin. The simulation of climate factors under future scenarios indicates that both temperature and precipitation in the study area will increase in the future compared with the reference period, with the largest increase of annual mean temperature and largest percentage increase of mean annual precipitation being of 2.4°C and 38.4%, respectively. Based on the results from bias correction of climate model outputs, we conclude that the accuracy of RCM (regional climate model) simulation is much better for temperature than for precipitation. The percentage increase in precipitation simulated by the three RCMs is generally higher than that simulated by the ensemble of GCMs. As for the changes in seasonal precipitation, RCMs exhibit a large percentage increase in seasonal precipitation in the wet season, while the ensemble of GCMs shows a large percentage increase in the dry season. Most of the hydrological simulations indicate that the total stream flow will decrease in the future due to the increase of evaporation, and the maximum percentage decrease can reach up to 22.3%. The possibility of peak flow increasing in the future is expected to higher than 99%. These results indicate that less water is likely to be available in the upper reaches of the Kaidu River Basin in the future, and that the temporal distribution of flow may become more concentrated.

submitted time 2018-10-29 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3666Downloads759 Comment 0

9. chinaXiv:201810.00185 [pdf]

Impact of large-scale vegetation restoration project on summer land surface temperature on the Loess Plateau, China

HE, Guohua; ZHAO, Yong; WANG, Jianhua; WANG, Qingming; ZHU, Yongnan
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

A large-scale afforestation project has been carried out since 1999 in the Loess Plateau of China. However, vegetation-induced changes in land surface temperature (LST) through the changing land surface energy balance have not been well documented. Using satellite measurements, this study quantified the contribution of vegetation restoration to the changes in summer LST and analyzed the effects of different vegetation restoration patterns on LST during both daytime and nighttime. The results show that the average daytime LST decreased by 4.3°C in the vegetation restoration area while the average nighttime LST increased by 1.4°C. The contributions of the vegetation restoration project to the changes in daytime LST and nighttime LST are 58% and 60%, respectively, which are far greater than the impact of climate change. The vegetation restoration pattern of cropland (CR) converting into artificial forest (AF) has a cooling effect during daytime and a warming effect at nighttime, while the conversion of CR to grassland has an opposite effect compared with the conversion of CR to AF. Our results indicate that increasing evapotranspiration caused by the vegetation restoration on the Loess Plateau is the controlling factor of daytime LST change, while the nighttime LST change is affected by soil humidity and air humidity.

submitted time 2018-10-29 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3681Downloads790 Comment 0

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