Chengde city is located in the agro–pastoral transitional zone in northern China near the capital city of Beijing, which has experienced large-scale ecological construction in the past three decades. This study quantitatively assessed the environmental changes in Chengde through observation records of water resources, water environment, atmospheric environment, and vegetation activity and investigated the possible causes. From the late 1950s to 2002, the streamflow presented a downward trend induced by climate variability and human activities, with contribution ratios of 33.2% and 66.8%, respectively. During 2001–2012, the days of levels I and II air quality presented clear upward trends. Moreover, the air pollutant concentration was relatively low compared with that in the adjacent areas, which means the air quality has improved more than that in the neighboring areas. The water quality, which deteriorated during 1993–2000, began to improve in 2002. The air and water quality changes were closely related to pollutant emissions induced by anthropogenic activities. During 1982–2012, the vegetation in the southeastern and central regions presented restoration trends, whereas that in the northwestern area showed degradation trends. The pixels with obvious degradation trends correlated significantly with annual mean temperature and annual precipitation. Ecological engineering also played a positive role in vegetation restoration. This analysis can be beneficial to environment managers in the active response and adaptation to the possible effects of future climate change, population growth, and industrial development and can be used to ensure sustainable development and environmental safety.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited