PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (3): 277-285.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2017.03.002

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

Method and application of cause analysis for early-warning of resource and environmental system overloading

Yong XU1(), Xuefei ZHANG1,2, Kan ZHOU1, Chuansheng WANG1, Xiaoren XU1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2017-02-01 Online:2017-03-20 Published:2017-03-20
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41630644;Science and Technology Service Network Initiative of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KFJ-STS-ZDTP-021


Establishing the monitoring and early-warning mechanism for resource and environmental system overloading and implementing restrictive policies in overloaded areas is a vital task faced by the central government in China in the process of comprehensive and deepening reforms. Cause analysis of overloading is the most important technology of the monitoring and early-warning system of resource and environmental carrying capacity. It is also the basis of formulating regional restrictive policies. This research first sets up an overall framework for the cause analysis of overloading, then describes the key factors and the methods for analysis. Based on this framework, the study conducts basic evaluations, specific evaluations, and comprehensive analysis of overloading for the land and marine systems, and summarizes some important findings. Finally, it conducts an empirical study on the resource and environmental system of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. The results show that the causes of resource and environmental system overloading in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region can be divided into natural, developmental, and management factors. The primary causes of overloading are developmental factors such as excessive concentration of population and industries, low-end industries, and energy consumption structure. Water resources shortage and the landform and climate are the main reasons for the overloading. The overloading of the marine environment is due to the poor purification ability of the inland sea, the ecological degradation of the sea area, and the intensity of coastal development. In addition, the dominant factors and their interactions varied in different regions. The difference is not only seen in the basic evaluations, but also in the specific evaluations and comprehensive analysis of overloading. Unfortunately, the existing resource and environmental management policies cannot effectively contain and solve the overloading problem of the resource and environmental system, and more effective measures need to be explored. The framework, methods, and cause analysis of overloading developed in this study can be used by the national and local governments for the monitoring and early-warning of the resource and environmental carrying capacity overloading.

Key words: resource and environmental carrying capacity, causes for overloading, factor interactional analysis, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region