PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (12): 1751-1759.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.12.004

• Climate and Ecological Environment • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial patterns of provincial carbon source and sink in China

LU Fengxian1,2,3, ZHANG Yan1,4, QIN Yaochen1, CHEN Zhenling2, WANG Guanghui3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Geospatial Technology for the Middle & Lower Yellow River Regions, Ministry of Education, College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, China;
    2. Henan Collaborative Innovation Center for Coordinating Industrialization, Urbanization and Agriculture Modernization in Central Economic Zone, Zhengzhou 450046, China;
    3. Institute of Policy and Management, CAS, Beijing 100190, China;
    4. College of Environment Science and Tourism, Nanyang Normal University, Nanyang 473061, China
  • Received:2013-04-01 Revised:2013-11-01 Online:2013-12-25 Published:2013-12-25

Abstract: China has become the biggest country of carbon emissions, and the size and scale of industrialization and urbanization are unprecedented. The pressure of carbon reduction is increasing day by day with the increasing carbon emissions which have caused more and more international concerns. Carbon reduction should be made possible by both reducing carbon source and increasing carbon sink at the same time. Policies of low carbon development should be different to the regions with obviously different existing carbon source and carbon sink. In this paper, by collecting the data from the forest inventory and some related statistical yearbooks, and by applying the methods of discharge coefficient, stand volume, and carbon sequestration rate in forest and grassland ecosystems at region scale, we made an overall estimation of carbon emissions from energy consumption, and carbon sinks from forest, grassland and arable land at the provincial scale. Then, the regional differences of total carbon emissions, carbon emissions per capita, carbon emissions per unit area, and energy intensity in China are analyzed, and spatial pattern of carbon sink and carbon surplus are discussed. As to the overall carbon emissions at the provincial scale, the carbon emission in Shandong, Shanxi and Hebei is relatively high; the carbon emission in Ningxia, Qinghai and Hainan is relatively low. As to the per capita carbon emission, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi and Ningxia have the largest per capita carbon emission; Jiangxi, Hainan and Guangxi have the lowest. As to the carbon emission per square kilometer, Shanghai has the largest; Qinghai has the lowest. Besides, the provinces with relatively low carbon intensity are Beijing, Guangdong, Shanghai, and Zhejiang, etc. Nationwide, the percentage of forest carbon sink is 53%, and the percentage in Yunnan and Heilongjiang is relatively high. The percentage of grassland carbon sink is 38.51%, mainly concentrated in Inner Mongolia, Qinghai and Xinjiang province. The carbon sinks from arable land focus on the carbon in the process of Maize straw returning to the field, which account for 8.63% of the total carbon sink. The results show that the carbon sinks from arable land in Heilongjiang, Jilin, Henan and Liaoning are higher than the ones in other provinces. Combining the feature of carbon source and carbon sinks of the four economic zones, the key issues in low-carbon development are pointed out. In the future, eastern region should change the development mode and improve energy efficiency through technological innovations. Central region should seize the green development opportunity to promote the low-carbon industry to achieve leapfrog development. Northeast region has high carbon sinks and can actively participate in international carbon trading. By strengthening management, western region should accelerate the technological improvements to improve energy efficiency and the ecological environment, and to enhance the capacity of carbon sinks.

Key words: carbon sink, carbon source, China, provincial regions, spatial pattern