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Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020552

Dynamic Evolution of Regional Discrepancies in Carbon Emissions from Agricultural Land Utilization: Evidence from Chinese Provincial Data

1
College of Public Administration, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
2
College of Public Administration, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 January 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Abstract

Agricultural land, as an important carbon source, has produced about 20% of carbon dioxide globally. The calculation and spatial-temporal distribution of carbon emissions resulting from agricultural land utilization (ALU) has attracted a great deal of attention from scholars. Most of the existing literature widely agrees that China’s carbon emissions from ALU showed significant regional discrepancies, but rarely pays attention to the evolutionary characteristics of the discrepancies. This study calculated the total carbon emissions from ALU based on six kinds of carbon emissions sources in the 31 provinces of mainland China, which showed obviously different characteristics in terms of their abundances of agricultural land resources, relative scarcities of production factors, levels of science and technology and economic prosperity. We then analyzed the evolutionary process and characteristics of regional discrepancies in carbon emissions from ALU at the national level and regional level with the method of kernel density estimation. The key results demonstrated the following: (1) The carbon emissions from ALU in the whole country and the eastern, central and western regions of China have increased sharply during the study period. From 2000 to 2015, the carbon emissions from ALU in the whole of China, the eastern region, central region, and western region were increased by 2626.11 (104 tons), 441.32 (104 tons), 1054.45 (104 tons), and 1130.3 (104 tons), respectively, with an average annual growth rate of 2.75%, 1.29%, 3%, and 4.35%, respectively; (2) The scale of carbon emissions from ALU showed significant spatial disparities at the regional and inter-provincial levels. From 2000 to 2015, the central region had the highest carbon emissions from ALU, while the eastern and western regions had the second and third highest carbon emissions; (3) The distribution curves of carbon emissions from ALU in the whole country and each region all moved in the right direction gradually during the study period, and the width of the curves increased, indicating the regional discrepancies of carbon emissions from ALU was expanding at different spatial scales. Distribution curves of carbon emissions from ALU in the eastern, central and western regions all showed a “multi-polar” differentiation phenomenon in 2000, while presented a “tri-polar”, “bipolar” and “multi-polar” division in 2015, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon emissions; agricultural land utilization; regional discrepancies; kernel density estimation; China carbon emissions; agricultural land utilization; regional discrepancies; kernel density estimation; China
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Lu, X.; Kuang, B.; Li, J.; Han, J.; Zhang, Z. Dynamic Evolution of Regional Discrepancies in Carbon Emissions from Agricultural Land Utilization: Evidence from Chinese Provincial Data. Sustainability 2018, 10, 552.

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