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Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Spatiotemporal changes in water, land use, and ecosystem services in Central Asia considering climate changes and human activities

Authors

YU Yang, 1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; 3 Cele National Station of Observation & Research for Desert Grassland Ecosystem in Xinjiang, Cele 848300, China; 4 Polish-Chinese Centre for Environmental Research, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia in Katowice, Bankowa 12, 40-007 Katowice, Poland
CHEN Xi, 1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;Follow
Ireneusz MALIK, 1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China 4 Polish-Chinese Centre for Environmental Research, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia in Katowice, Bankowa 12, 40-007 Katowice, Poland
Malgorzata WISTUBA, 1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China 4 Polish-Chinese Centre for Environmental Research, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia in Katowice, Bankowa 12, 40-007 Katowice, Poland
HOU Dongde, 5 Advanced Research Institute, Southwest University of Political Science & Law, Chongqing 401120, China
TA Zhijie, 6 School of Tourism & Research Institute of Human Geography, Xi'an International Studies University, Xi'an 710128, China
HE Jing, 1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
ZHANG Lingyun, 1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
YU Ruide, 1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; 4 Polish-Chinese Centre for Environmental Research, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia in Katowice, Bankowa 12, 40-007 Katowice, Poland; 7 School of Environment and Material Engineering, Yantai University, Yantai 264005, China
ZHANG Haiyan, 1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; 4 Polish-Chinese Centre for Environmental Research, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia in Katowice, Bankowa 12, 40-007 Katowice, Poland;
SUN Lingxiao, 1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; 4 Polish-Chinese Centre for Environmental Research, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia in Katowice, Bankowa 12, 40-007 Katowice, Poland;

Abstract

Central Asia is located in the hinterland of Eurasia, comprising Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan; over 93.00% of the total area is dryland. Temperature rise and human activities have severe impacts on the fragile ecosystems. Since the 1970s, nearly half the great lakes in Central Asia have shrunk and rivers are drying rapidly owing to climate changes and human activities. Water shortage and ecological crisis have attracted extensive international attention. In general, ecosystem services in Central Asia are declining, particularly with respect to biodiversity, water, and soil conservation. Furthermore, the annual average temperature and annual precipitation in Central Asia increased by 0.30°C/decade and 6.9 mm/decade in recent decades, respectively. Temperature rise significantly affected glacier retreat in the Tianshan Mountains and Pamir Mountains, which may intensify water shortage in the 21st century. The increase in precipitation cannot counterbalance the aggravation of water shortage caused by the temperature rise and human activities in Central Asia. The population of Central Asia is growing gradually, and its economy is increasing steadily. Moreover, the agricultural land has not been expended in the last two decades. Thus, water and ecological crises, such as the Aral Sea shrinkage in the 21st century, cannot be attributed to agriculture extension any longer. Unbalanced regional development and water interception/transfer have led to the irrational exploitation of water resources in some watersheds, inducing downstream water shortage and ecological degradation. In addition, accelerated industrialization and urbanization have intensified this process. Therefore, all Central Asian countries must urgently reach a consensus and adopt common measures for water and ecological protection.

Keywords

water resources, land-use changes, ecosystem services, climate changes, human activities, Aral Sea

First Page

881

Last Page

890

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