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Researchers Assess Potential Wind Erosion Rate Response to Climate and Land-use Changes
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It is well known that climate and land-use changes could strongly affect wind erosion and cause a series of environmental problems. However, there are not many quantitative studies on the influence of climate and land-use changes on wind erosion in the watershed of the Ningxia-Inner Mongolia Reach of the Yellow River (NIMRYR). 

To address this research gap, a research group led by Prof. WANG Tao from the Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification at Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources (NIEER) estimated the potential wind erosion rate (PWER) from 1986 to 2013 in the watershed of the NIMRYR and identified the response of PWER to climate and land-use changes. 

Furthermore, by using an Integrated Wind Erosion Modelling System (IWEMS) and Revised Wind Erosion Equation (RWEQ), Scientists also calculated the PWER under different climate conditions and land-use scenarios. 

Research results show that the average PWER of the NIMRYR watershed decreased rapidly during the period of 1986 to 2013, especially since 2006. Besides, through analysis of the relationship among PWER, climate change and land-use changes, scientists found that the climate change was the dominant control factor on the PWER change in this watershed. 

This research achievement could provide some valuable references for wind erosion modelling, and the research results should help climate and land-use researchers to develop strategies to reduce wind erosion. 

This research is financially supported by the Nature Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41601009 and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFC0500902). Some of the data set has been provided by the Environmental and Ecological Science Data Centre for West China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China. This research achievement has been published on Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 


Heqiang DU 


Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, 730000, P. R. China. 

 Fig. Sketched maps of the Ningxia–Inner Mongolia Reach of the Yellow River (NIMRYR) watershed. (Image by Heqiang DU) 

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