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Ecological Economic Evaluation Based on Emergy as Embodied Cosmic Exergy: A Historical Study for the Beijing Urban Ecosystem 1978–2004
State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
State Key Laboratory of Turbulence and Complex Systems, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Institute of Low-carbon Industry, BDA Ltd, Beijing 100176, China
College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100875, P.R. China
School of Economics, Peking University, Beijing 100875, China
EcoSecurities Group (China), Co. Ltd., Beijing 100005, China
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 May 2010; Accepted: 27 May 2010 / Published: 29 June 2010
Abstract: For ecological economic evaluation based on the unified biophysical matrix this research illustrates an updated emergy synthesis in terms of embodied cosmic exergy instead of embodied solar energy, which successes the foundation of systems ecological theory but changes the starting point for the estimation from simply the sun to the cosmos. According to the modified definition implicating explicit scarcity and strict additivity based on the fundamental thermodynamics laws, the updated emergy approach overcomes the confusable and intractable deficiencies of traditional one and shows firmer theoretical basis as well as better applicability. As a case study for the regional socio-economic ecosystem, a cosmic emergy based ecological economic evaluation of the Beijing urban ecosystem during the period 1978-2004 is presented. The local and external resources supporting the concerned ecosystem are accounted and analyzed in a common unit, i.e., cosmic Joule, according to which a series of indicators are applied to reveal its evolutional characteristics through five aspects as emergy structure, emergy intensity, emergy welfare, environmental impacts, and degree of exploitation and economic efficiency. During the analyzed period, the major emergy source sustaining the operation of the ecosystem had changed from the renewable resources exploited locally to the nonrenewable resources purchased from outside. Emergy intensity for the Beijing urban ecosystem kept rising owing to the continuous investment of resources, which not only improved the living standard but also intensified the environmental pressure. Moreover, the increase of exploitation degree was accompanied with the decline of economic efficiency, while the rising emergy investment ratio implicates that Beijing was at the risks of resources shortage and high dependence on external resources
Keywords: emergy synthesis; embodied cosmic exergy; ecological economic evaluation; urban ecosystem; Beijing
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Ming, J.M.; Zhan-Ming, C.; Bo, Z.; Cheng, L.S.; Hua, X.X.; Yi, Z.S.; Bo, Z.J. Ecological Economic Evaluation Based on Emergy as Embodied Cosmic Exergy: A Historical Study for the Beijing Urban Ecosystem 1978–2004. Entropy 2010, 12, 1696-1720.
Ming JM, Zhan-Ming C, Bo Z, Cheng LS, Hua XX, Yi ZS, Bo ZJ. Ecological Economic Evaluation Based on Emergy as Embodied Cosmic Exergy: A Historical Study for the Beijing Urban Ecosystem 1978–2004. Entropy. 2010; 12(7):1696-1720.
Ming, Jiang Mei; Zhan-Ming, Chen; Bo, Zhang; Cheng, Li Shuang; Hua, Xia Xiao; Yi, Zhou Shi; Bo, Zhou Jiang. 2010. "Ecological Economic Evaluation Based on Emergy as Embodied Cosmic Exergy: A Historical Study for the Beijing Urban Ecosystem 1978–2004." Entropy 12, no. 7: 1696-1720.