Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2011, Vol. 66 ›› Issue (11): 1508-1517.doi: 10.11821/xb201111007

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The Analysis of Entropy Changes on the Evolutional Tendency of Geographical Environment

WANG Yuming   

  1. College of Urbanism and Tourism, Taiyuan Normal University, Taiyuan 030012, China
  • Received:2011-04-21 Revised:2011-09-09 Online:2011-11-20 Published:2011-12-24
  • Supported by:

    Shanxi Province Soft Science Project, No.2011041062-04

Abstract: The evolution of geographical environmental system obeys the second law of thermodynamics: the order degree changes of the system are anti-related to its total entropy changes. The order degree increases when the total entropy changes are negative, and it is useful for human beings' survival and development, and vice versa. The analysis shows that the spontaneous evolution of natural geographical environment is developing towards ordering. The impacts of large-scale human activities on city system and human geographical environment are totally positive, and push its ordering development; their impacts on natural geographical development are both positive and negative. The positive impact is mainly the incremental production of low-entropy material and energy, which has been reflected in the increase of agricultural products and the application of new energy technology, such as solar energy, and ecological environment construction. The negative impacts are consumption of low-entropy material and energy, discharge of "three wastes" and elimination heat to the environment during the process of consumption and industrial production. These impacts lead to decrease of stock of low-entropy material and expansion of entropy increase during the geographical development, and have already caused common anxiety. Ordering of background evolution of natural geographical environment and technological possibility indicate that the evolution of geographical environment can continue ordering by introducing more low-entropy material and energy and decreasing the discharge of entropy.

Key words: geographical environment, entropy, order degree, evolution