PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (3): 296-305.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.03.004

• Special Issue: Resource and Environmental Carrying Capacity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Environmental carrying capacity evaluation methods and application based on environmental quality standards

Nianlei LIU(), Yaling LU, Hongqiang JIANG*(), Xi CHENG   

  1. Chinese Academy of Environment Planning, State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Environmental Planning and Policy Simulation, Beijing 100012, China
  • Received:2017-01-01 Online:2017-03-20 Published:2017-03-20
  • Contact: Hongqiang JIANG;
  • Supported by:
    National Science and Technology Major Project, No.2012ZX07601-002;Finance Budget Major Project of Ministry of Environmental Protection, No.2110107;Science and Technology Service Network Initiative of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KFJ-STS-ZDTP-021


Establishing the monitoring and early-warning mechanism of resource and environmental carrying capacity is an innovative work of comprehensive and deepening reforms of China. This research proposed an evaluation model of environmental carrying capacity based on environmental quality standards. This model measures the carrying capacity of atmospheric, water, and the whole environment through calculating the exceeding standard value index of pollutant concentration, and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region was used as the pilot study area. The conclusions are as follows: (1) The evaluation results of the pilot study area show that 99% of the districts were in the status of overloading. (2) With regard to atmospheric environmental carrying capacity, 98% of the districts were in the status of overloading with PM10 and PM2.5 as the main pollutants. The concentrations of O3 and NO2 also seriously exceeded the values specified in the standards—87% and 72% of the districts were in the status of overloading with these two pollutants, respectively. (3) With respect to water environmental carrying capacity, all 108 districts were in the status of overloading with TN, DO, NH3-N, and TP as the main pollutants. This evaluation model objectively reflects the state of environmental carrying capacity based on the environmental quality. It can potentially be widely applied to the evaluation of environmental carrying capacity in different regions.

Key words: environmental carrying capacity, pollutant concentration, environmental quality standard, exceeding standard value index, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region