PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (12): 1472-1482.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.12.004

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatiotemporal patterns and influencing factors of carbon emissions in the Pan-Yangtze River Delta region, 11990-2014

Jianglong CHEN1,2(), Pingxing LI1,2,*(), Jinlong GAO1,2,3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Watershed Geographic Sciences, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    2. Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China
    3. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Online:2016-12-20 Published:2016-12-20
  • Contact: Pingxing LI;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41130750, No.41401187


In recent years, the spatial and temporal patterns of regional carbon emissions and their influencing factors were a key research focus by researchers from various fields. Taking the Pan-Yangtze River Delta region— one of the most economically developed and fast changing regions in China—as case area, we analyzed the spatiotemporal patterns of carbon emissions in six representative years of 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2014. Employing scree plot analysis and a nonlinear polynomial model, we also investigated the major influencing factors of carbon emissions in 2010. Results indicate that the total amount of carbon emissions has increased rapidly, but the spatial pattern has been largely stable since 1990. Sixteen cities of the core area dominated the carbon emissions in the Pan-Yangtze River Delta region, and they accounted for more than 50% of the total at most stages. However, the amount and rate of growth of the carbon emissions of all cities showed significant spatial differences. With 2005 as the turning point, the share of carbon emissions of most peripheral cities declined gradually before, but grew faster than the core cities after this point. The total share of the peripheral cities increased to 47% in 2014 from 33% in 2005. The spatial agglomeration degree first increased and then decreased. The spatial heterogeneity of regional carbon emissions was affected by various factors including economic development and energy consumption. Industrialization, urbanization, and population agglomeration are the major factors of carbon emissions. Fixed asset investment and foreign direct investment also had effects on carbon emissions. The relationship between economic development and carbon emissions shows an inverted U shape. The results indicate the environmental effect of change in economic development pattern and can provide some reference for energy saving and carbon emission reduction policy making.

Key words: carbon emission, spatial heterogeneity, temporal change, influencing factor, Pan-Yangtze River Delta