Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (7): 1605-1617.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202107003

• Climate Change and Vegetation Ecology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Climate change risk assessment of ecosystem productivity in the arid/humid transition zone of northern China

YIN Yunhe1(), MA Danyang2, DENG Haoyu1, WU Shaohong1,3()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Henan Province Development and Reform Commission, Zhengzhou 450018, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2020-05-09 Revised:2020-12-23 Online:2021-07-25 Published:2021-09-25
  • Contact: WU Shaohong;
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China(2018YFC1508805);The Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20020202);The Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA19040304)


Climate change risk has been a challenge for the development of society. As the ecosystems in the arid/humid transition zone (AHTZ) in northern China are characterized by sensitive and complex response to climatic fluctuations, assessing the climate change risk for ecosystems in the AHTZ is of scientific significance to regional climate governance and risk management. This study utilized the net primary productivity (NPP) as the indice for risk assessment. Based on the climate data of five global climate models (GCMs) participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) and four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), the NPP was simulated using an improved LPJ (Lund-Potsdam-Jena). A climate change risk assessment method was built to identify the climate change risk levels and their spatio-temporal distributions in the AHTZ at different periods in the future. Results show that NPP loss would gradually extend and aggravate the risk in the AHTZ from mid-term period to long-term period of the 21st century. The risk under the high-emission scenario would be more serious, mainly manifested as a negative anomaly and a downward trend of NPP. In particular, under RCP8.5, 81.85% of the area may face climate change risk, and 54.71% will reach a high risk. During 2071-2099, under RCP8.5, the NPP anomaly in the high-risk area will reach (-96.00±46.95) gC m-2 a-1, and the changing rate of NPP will reach (-3.56±3.40) gC m-2 a-1. The eastern plain of AHTZ and the eastern grasslands of Inner Mongolia are expected to become the main risk concentration areas. The future vegetation growth in these areas may be adversely affected by climate change. Increasing warming and intensifying drying may be important causes for future climate change risks.

Key words: climate change, risk assessment, arid/humid transition zone, NPP, ecosystem