PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2009, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (4): 546-552.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2009.04.009

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Emergy-based Socioeconomic Metabolism of Guangdong Province in 2006

WU Yuqin1, YANG Chunlin2   

  1. 1. Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, CAS, Guangzhou 510640, china;
    2. Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
  • Online:2009-07-25 Published:2009-07-25


The study of regional ecology focuses on socioeconomic metabolism as one of the important issues by International Human Dimension Programme of Global Environment Change. Combining the idea with emergy synthesis, originally established by H.T.Odum, this paper analyzes and updates the social metabolism of Guangdong province on the aspects of the variety, efficiency and metabolic status of resource utilization in 2006. Through decades of emergy indicators, the conclusions are drawn as follows: Guangdong developed well as a whole in 2006. It had high level of emergy welfares with per capita 1.60×1016 sej and the emergy surplus was about 57.31×1022 sej, showing the increase of its real wealth, but the imported emergy was 0.73 times of total emergy use and the waste ratio was 0.26, while the environmental loading ratio was 14.36 in 2006. Some problems has emerged such as the excessive use of resources, the over-dependence on import, the overfull output of wastes and the serious environmental load. The emergy sustainability index is also decreasing year by year. At present it still presents a linear operational pattern and will have negative effects on its environment and development. Therefore, it is necessary to optimize and reform the metabolic course to the circular mode. In order to improve the harmoniousness between the nature and the society of Guangdong Province, the paper proposes to set up low-cost and high-benefit industrial systems, to increase the development of alternative resources and new energy, to enhance the capacity of waste treatment and to perfect the metabolic mechanism in the future.

Key words: emergy, emergy indices, Guangdong province, socioeconomic metabolism