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1. chinaXiv:202105.00004 [pdf]

Drought trend analysis in a semi-arid area of Iraq based on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, Normalized Difference Water Index and Standardized Precipitation Index

Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Drought was a severe recurring phenomenon in Iraq over the past two decades due to climate change despite the fact that Iraq has been one of the most water-rich countries in the Middle East in the past. The Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) is located in the north of Iraq, which has also suffered from extreme drought. In this study, the drought severity status in Sulaimaniyah Province, one of four provinces of the IKR, was investigated for the years from 1998 to 2017. Thus, Landsat time series dataset, including 40 images, were downloaded and used in this study. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) were utilized as spectral-based drought indices and the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was employed as a meteorological-based drought index, to assess the drought severity and analyse the changes of vegetative cover and water bodies. The study area experienced precipitation deficiency and severe drought in 1999, 2000, 2008, 2009, and 2012. Study findings also revealed a drop in the vegetative cover by 33.3% in the year 2000. Furthermore, the most significant shrinkage in water bodies was observed in the Lake Darbandikhan (LDK), which lost 40.5% of its total surface area in 2009. The statistical analyses revealed that precipitation was significantly positively correlated with the SPI and the surface area of the LDK (correlation coefficients of 0.92 and 0.72, respectively). The relationship between SPI and NDVI-based vegetation cover was positive but not significant. Low precipitation did not always correspond to vegetative drought; the delay of the effect of precipitation on NDVI was one year.

submitted time 2021-04-30 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1336Downloads239 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:202105.00009 [pdf]

Spatiotemporal variation in snow cover and its effects on grassland phenology on the Mongolian Plateau

SA Chula; MENG Fanhao; LUO Min; LI Chenhao; WANG Mulan; ADIYA Saruulzaya; BAO Yuhai
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Snow cover is an important water source for vegetation growth in arid and semi-arid areas, and grassland phenology provides valuable information on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change. The Mongolian Plateau features both abundant snow cover resources and typical grassland ecosystems. In recent years, with the intensification of global climate change, the snow cover on the Mongolian Plateau has changed correspondingly, with resulting effects on vegetation growth. In this study, using MOD10A1 snow cover data and MOD13A1 Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data combined with remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) techniques, we analyzed the spatiotemporal changes in snow cover and grassland phenology on the Mongolian Plateau from 2001 to 2018. The correlation analysis and grey relation analysis were used to determine the influence of snow cover parameters (snow cover fraction (SCF), snow cover duration (SCD), snow cover onset date (SCOD), and snow cover end date (SCED)) on different types of grassland vegetation. The results showed wide snow cover areas, an early start time, a late end time, and a long duration of snow cover over the northern Mongolian Plateau. Additionally, a late start, an early end, and a short duration were observed for grassland phenology, but the southern area showed the opposite trend. The SCF decreased at an annual rate of 0.33%. The SCD was shortened at an annual rate of 0.57 d. The SCOD and SCED in more than half of the study area advanced at annual rates of 5.33 and 5.74 DOY (day of year), respectively. For grassland phenology, the start of the growing season (SOS) advanced at an annual rate of 0.03 DOY, the end of the growing season (EOS) was delayed at an annual rate of 0.14 DOY, and the length of the growing season (LOS) was prolonged at an annual rate of 0.17 d. The SCF, SCD, and SCED in the snow season were significantly positively correlated with the SOS and negatively correlated with the EOS and LOS. The SCOD was significantly negatively correlated with the SOS and positively correlated with the EOS and LOS. The SCD and SCF can directly affect the SOS of grassland vegetation, while the EOS and LOS were obviously influenced by the SCOD and SCED. This study provides a scientific basis for exploring the response trends of alpine vegetation to global climate change.

submitted time 2021-04-30 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits655Downloads158 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:202101.00072 [pdf]

How precipitation and grazing influence the ecological functions of drought-prone grasslands on the northern slopes of the Tianshan Mountains, China?

HUANG Xiaotao; LUO Geping; CHEN Chunbo; PENG Jian; ZHANG Chujie; ZHOU Huakun; YAO Buqing; MA Zhen; XI Xiaoyan
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Drought-prone grasslands provide a critical resource for the millions of people who are dependent on livestock for food security. However, this ecosystem is potentially vulnerable to climate change (e.g., precipitation) and human activity (e.g., grazing). Despite this, the influences of precipitation and grazing on ecological functions of drought-prone grasslands in the Tianshan Mountains remain relatively unexplored. Therefore, we conducted a systematic field investigation and a clipping experiment (simulating different intensities of grazing) in a drought-prone grassland on the northern slopes of the Tianshan Mountains in China to examine the influences of precipitation and grazing on aboveground biomass (AGB), soil volumetric water content (SVWC), and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) during the period of 2014–2017. We obtained the meteorological and SVWC data using an HL20 Bowen ratio system and a PR2 soil profile hydrometer, respectively. We found that AGB was clearly affected by both the amount and seasonal pattern of precipitation, and that PUE may be relatively low in years with either low or excessive precipitation. The PUE values were generally higher in the rapid growing season (April–July) than in the entire growing season (April–October). Overall, moderate grazing can promote plant growth under water stress conditions. The SVWC value was higher in the clipped plots than in the unclipped plots in the rapid growing season (April–July), but it was lower in the clipped plots than in the unclipped plots in the slow growing season (August–October). Our findings can enhance the understanding of the ecological effects of precipitation and grazing in drought-prone grasslands and provide data that will support the effective local grassland management.

submitted time 2021-01-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits903Downloads528 Comment 0

4. chinaXiv:202101.00073 [pdf]

Transformation of vegetative cover on the Ustyurt Plateau of Central Asia as a consequence of the Aral Sea shrinkage

Adilov BEKZOD; Shomurodov HABIBULLO; FAN Lianlian; LI Kaihui; MA Xuexi; LI Yaoming
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

The gradual shrinkage of the Aral Sea has led to not only the degradation of the unique environments of the Aral Sea, but also numerous and fast developing succession processes in the neighborhood habitats surrounding the sea. In this study, we investigated the vegetative succession processes related to the Aral Sea shrinkage in the Eastern Cliff of the Ustyurt Plateau in Republic of Uzbekistan, Central Asia. We compared the results of our current investigation (2010–2017) on vegetative communities with the geobotany data collected during the 1970s (1970–1980). The results showed great changes in the mesophytic plant communities and habitat aridization as a result of the drop in the underground water level, which decreased atmospheric humidity and increased the salt content of the soil caused by the shrinkage of the Aral Sea. In the vegetative communities, we observed a decrease in the Margalef index (DMg), which had a positive correlation with the poly-dominance index (I-D). The main indications of the plant communities' transformation were the loss of the weak species, the appearance of new communities with low species diversity, the stabilization of the projective cover of former resistant communities, as well as the appearance of a new competitive species, which occupy new habitats.

submitted time 2021-01-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits854Downloads516 Comment 0

5. chinaXiv:202101.00050 [pdf]

Mapping the current and future distributions of Onosma species endemic to Iran

Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Climate change may cause shifts in the natural range of species especially for those that are geographically restricted and/or endemic species. In this study, the spatial distribution of five endemic and threatened species belonging to the genus Onosma (including O. asperrima, O. bisotunensis, O. kotschyi, O. platyphylla, and O. straussii) was investigated under present and future climate change scenarios: RCP2.6 (RCP, representative concentration pathway; optimistic scenario) and RCP8.5 (pessimistic scenario) for the years 2050 and 2080 in Iran. Analysis was conducted using the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model to provide a basis for the protection and conservation of these species. Seven environmental variables including aspect, depth of soil, silt content, slope, annual precipitation, minimum temperature of the coldest month, and annual temperature range were used as main predictors in this study. The model output for the potential habitat suitability of the studied species showed acceptable performance for all species (i.e., the area under the curve (AUC)>0.800). According to the models generated by MaxEnt, the potential current patterns of the species were consistent with the observed areas of distributions. The projected climate maps under optimistic and pessimistic scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, respectively) of 2050 and 2080 resulted in reductions and expansions as well as positive range changes for all species in comparison to their current predicted distributions. Among all species, O. bisotunensis showed the most significant and highest increase under the pessimistic scenario of 2050 and 2080. Finally, the results of this study revealed that the studied plant species have shown an acute adaptability to environmental changes. The results can provide useful information to managers to apply appropriate strategies for the management and conservation of these valuable Iranian medicinal and threatened plant species in the future.

submitted time 2021-01-15 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits553Downloads262 Comment 0

6. chinaXiv:202101.00054 [pdf]

Influence of non-stationarity and auto-correlation of climatic records on spatio-temporal trend and seasonality analysis in a region with prevailing arid and semi-arid climate, Iran

Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Trend and stationarity analysis of climatic variables are essential for understanding climate variability and provide useful information about the vulnerability and future changes, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. In this study, various climatic zones of Iran were investigated to assess the relationship between the trend and the stationarity of the climatic variables. The Mann-Kendall test was considered to identify the trend, while the trend free pre-whitening approach was applied for eliminating serial correlation from the time-series. Meanwhile, time series stationarity was tested by Dickey-Fuller and Kwiatkowski-Phillips-Schmidt-Shin tests. The results indicated an increasing trend for mean air temperature series at most of the stations over various climatic zones, however, after eliminating the serial correlation factor, this increasing trend changes to an insignificant decreasing trend at a 95% confidence level. The seasonal mean air temperature trend suggested a significant increase in the majority of the stations. The mean air temperature increased more in northwest towards central parts of Iran that mostly located in arid and semi-arid climatic zones. Precipitation trend reveals an insignificant downward trend in most of the series over various climatic zones; furthermore, most of the stations follow a decreasing trend for seasonal precipitation. Furthermore, spatial patterns of trend and seasonality of precipitation and mean air temperature showed that the northwest parts of Iran and margin areas of the Caspian Sea are more vulnerable to the changing climate with respect to the precipitation shortfalls and warming. Stationarity analysis indicated that the stationarity of climatic series influences on their trend; so that, the series which have significant trends are not static. The findings of this investigation can help planners and policy-makers in various fields related to climatic issues, implementing better management and planning strategies to adapt to climate change and variability over Iran.

submitted time 2021-01-15 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits515Downloads278 Comment 0

7. chinaXiv:202011.00131 [pdf]

Can climate change influence agricultural GTFP in arid and semi-arid regions of Northwest China?

FENG,Jian; ZHAO,Lingdi; ZHANG,Yibo; SUN,Lingxiao; YU,Xiang; YU,Yang
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

There are eight provinces and autonomous regions (Gansu Province, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, Shanxi Province, and Shaanxi Province) in Northwest China, most areas of which are located in arid and semi-arid regions (northwest of the 400 mm precipitation line), accounting for 58.74% of the country's land area and sustaining approximately 7.84×106 people. Because of drought conditions and fragile ecology, these regions cannot develop agriculture at the expense of the environment. Given the challenges of global warming, the green total factor productivity (GTFP), taking CO2 emissions as an undesirable output, is an effective index for measuring the sustainability of agricultural development. Agricultural GTFP can be influenced by both internal production factors (labor force, machinery, land, agricultural plastic film, diesel, pesticide, and fertilizer) and external climate factors (temperature, precipitation, and sunshine duration). In this study, we used the Super-slacks-based measure (Super-SBM) model to measure agricultural GTFP during the period 2000–2016 at the regional level. Our results show that the average agricultural GTFP of most provinces and autonomous regions in arid and semi-arid regions underwent a fluctuating increase during the study period (2000–2016), and the fluctuation was caused by the production factors (input and output factors). To improve agricultural GTFP, Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Gansu should reduce agricultural labor force input; Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, and Shanxi should decrease machinery input; Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Shanxi should reduce fertilizer input; Shaanxi, Xinjiang, Gansu, and Ningxia should reduce diesel input; Xinjiang and Gansu should decrease plastic film input; and Gansu, Shanxi, and Inner Mongolia should cut pesticide input. Desirable output agricultural earnings should be increased in Qinghai and Tibet, and undesirable output (CO2 emissions) should be reduced in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Gansu, and Shaanxi. Agricultural GTFP is influenced not only by internal production factors but also by external climate factors. To determine the influence of climate factors on GTFP in these provinces and autonomous regions, we used a Geographical Detector (Geodetector) model to analyze the influence of climate factors (temperature, precipitation, and sunshine duration) and identify the relationships between different climate factors and GTFP. We found that temperature played a significant role in the spatial heterogeneity of GTFP among provinces and autonomous regions in arid and semi-arid regions. For Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Tibet, a suitable average annual temperature would be in the range of 7°C–9°C; for Gansu, Shanxi, and Ningxia, it would be 11°C–13°C; and for Shaanxi, it would be 15°C–17°C. Stable climatic conditions and more efficient production are prerequisites for the development of sustainable agriculture. Hence, in the agricultural production process, reducing the redundancy of input factors is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions and to maintain temperatures, thereby improving the agricultural GTFP. The significance of this study is that it explores the impact of both internal production factors and external climatic factors on the development of sustainable agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions, identifying an effective way forward for the arid and semi-arid regions of Northwest China.

submitted time 2020-11-25 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3237Downloads566 Comment 0

8. chinaXiv:202011.00135 [pdf]

Rapid loss of leguminous species in the semi-arid grasslands of northern China under climate change and mowing from 1982 to 2011

XU,Bo; HUGJILTU,Minggagud; BAOYIN,Taogetao; ZHONG,Yankai; BAO,Qinghai; ZHOU,Yanlin; LIU,Zhiying
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Effects of mowing on the composition and diversity of grasslands varied with climate change (e.g., precipitation and temperature). However, the interactive effects of long-term mowing and climate change on the diversity and stability of leguminous and non-leguminous species in the semi-arid grasslands are largely unknown. Here, we used in situ monitoring data from 1982 to 2011 to examine the effects of continuous mowing and climate change on the plant biomass and diversity of leguminous and non-leguminous species, and soil total nitrogen in the typical semi-arid grasslands of northern China. Results showed that the biomass and diversity of leguminous species significantly decreased with the increasing in the biomass and diversity of non-leguminous species during the 30-a period. Variations in biomass were mainly affected by the long-term mowing, while variations in diversity were mainly explained by the climate change. Moreover, the normalized change rates of diversity in leguminous species were significantly higher than those in non-leguminous species. Mowing and temperature together contributed to the diversity changes of leguminous species, with mowing accounting for 50.0% and temperature 28.0%. Temporal stability of leguminous species was substantially lower than that of non-leguminous species. Consequently, soil total nitrogen decreased in the 2000s compared with the 1980s. These findings demonstrated that leguminous species were more sensitive to the long-term mowing and climate change than non-leguminous species in the semi-arid grasslands. Thus, reseeding appropriate leguminous plants when mowing in the semi-arid grasslands may be a better strategy to improve nitrogen levels of grassland ecosystems and maintain ecosystem biodiversity.

submitted time 2020-11-25 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits2487Downloads435 Comment 0

9. chinaXiv:202010.00037 [pdf]

Performance and uncertainty analysis of a short-term climate reconstruction based on multi-source data in the Tianshan Mountains region, China

LI,Xuemei; SIMONOVIC,Slobodan P; LI,Lanhai; ZHANG,Xueting; QIN,Qirui
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Short-term climate reconstruction, i.e., the reproduction of short-term (several decades) historical climatic time series based on the relationship between observed data and available longer-term reference data in a certain area, can extend the length of climatic time series and offset the shortage of observations. This can be used to assess regional climate change over a much longer time scale. Based on monthly grid climate data from a Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) dataset for the period of 1850–2000, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) dataset for the period of 1901–2000 and the observed data from 53 meteorological stations located in the Tianshan Mountains region (TMR) of China during the period of 1961–2011, we calibrated and validated monthly average temperature (MAT) and monthly accumulated precipitation (MAP) in the TMR using the delta, physical scaling (SP) and arti?cial neural network (ANN) methods. Performance and uncertainty during the calibration (1971–1999) and verification (1961–1970) periods were assessed and compared using traditional performance indices and a revised set pair analysis (RSPA) method. The calibration and verification processes were subjected to various sources of uncertainty due to the influence of different reconstructed variables, different data sources, and/or different methods used. According to traditional performance indices, both the CRU and CMIP5 datasets resulted in satisfactory calibrated and verified MAT time series at 53 meteorological stations and MAP time series at 20 meteorological stations using the delta and SP methods for the period of 1961–1999. However, the results differed from those obtained by the RSPA method. This showed that the CRU dataset produced a low degree of uncertainty (positive connection degree) during the calibration and verification of MAT using the delta and SP methods compared to the CMIP5 dataset. Overall, the calibrated and verified MAP had a high degree of uncertainty (negative connection degree) regardless of the dataset or reconstruction method used. Therefore, the reconstructed time series of MAT for the period of 1850 (or 1901)–1960 based on the CRU and CMIP5 datasets using the delta and SP methods could be used for further study. The results of this study will be useful for short-term (several decades) regional climate reconstruction and longer-term (100 a or more) assessments of regional climate change.

submitted time 2020-10-20 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits812Downloads479 Comment 0

10. chinaXiv:202010.00038 [pdf]

Glacier variations and their response to climate change in an arid inland river basin of Northwest China

ZHOU,Zuhao; HAN,Ning; LIU,Jiajia; YAN,Ziqi; XU,Chongyu; CAI,Jingya; SHANG,Yizi; ZHU,Jiasong
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Glaciers are a critical freshwater resource of river recharge in arid areas around the world. In recent decades, glaciers have shown evidence of retreat due to climate change, and the accelerated ablation of glaciers and associated impacts on water resources have received widespread attention. Glacier variations result from climate change, so they can serve as an indicator of climate change. Considering the climatic differences in different elevation ranges, it is worthwhile to explore whether different responses exist between glacier area and air temperature in each elevation zone. In this study, we selected a typical arid inland river basin (Sugan Lake Basin) in the western Qilian Mountains of Northwest China to analyze the glacier variations and their response to climate change. The glacier area data from 1989 to 2016 were delineated using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM), Enhanced TM+ (ETM+) and Operational Land Imager (OLI) images. We compared the relationships between glacier area and air temperature at seven meteorological stations in the glacier-covered areas and in the Sugan Lake Basin, and further analyzed the relationship between glacier area and mean air temperature of the glacier surfaces in July–August in the elevation range of 4700–5500 m a.s.l. by the linear regression method and correlation analysis. In addition, based on the linear regression relationship established between glacier area and air temperature in each elevation zone, we predicted glacier areas under future climate scenarios during the periods of 2046–2065 and 2081–2100. The results indicate that the glaciers experienced a remarkable shrinkage from 1989 to 2016 with a shrinkage rate of –1.61 km2/a (–0.5%/a), and the rising temperature is the decisive factor dominating glacial retreat; there is a significant negative linear correlation between glacier area and mean air temperature of the glacier surfaces in July–August in each elevation zone from 1989 to 2016. The variations in glaciers are far less sensitive to changes in precipitation than to changes in air temperature. Due to the influence of climate and topographic conditions, the distribution of glacier area and the rate of glacier ablation first increased and then decreased in different elevation zones. The trend in glacier shrinkage will continue because air temperature will continue to increase in the future, and the result of glacier retreat in each elevation zone will be slightly slower than that in the entire study area. Quantitative glacier research can more accurately reflect the response of glacier variations to climate change, and the regression relationship can be used to predict the areas of glaciers under future climate scenarios. These conclusions can offer effective references for assessing glacier variations and their response to climate change in arid inland river basins in Northwest China as well as other similar regions in the world.

submitted time 2020-10-20 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits517Downloads295 Comment 0

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