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Article

Documentary Evidence of 17th Century Landcover and Climate Change in Northern China and Mongolia Compared to Modern Spectral Greening Trends

by 1,2
1
Physical Geography, Institute of Environmental Social Science and Geography, University of Freiburg, Schreiberstr. 20, 79085 Freiburg, Germany
2
Department of Archaeology and Museology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Arne Nováka 1, 60200 Brno, Czech Republic
Academic Editors: Fabio Luino, Mariano Barriendos Vallvé, Emmanuel Garnier, Fabrizio Terenzio Gizzi, Ruediger Glaser, Christoph Gruetzner, Walter Palmieri, Sabina Porfido, Heather Sangster and Laura Turconi
Land 2022, 11(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010100
Received: 29 November 2021 / Revised: 31 December 2021 / Accepted: 6 January 2022 / Published: 8 January 2022
Fighting land degradation of semi-arid and climate-sensitive grasslands are among the most urgent tasks of current eco-political agenda. Particularly, northern China and Mongolia are prone to climate-induced surface transformations, which were reinforced by the heavily increased numbers of livestock during the 20th century. Extensive overgrazing and resource exploitation amplified regional climate change effects and triggered intensified land degradation that forced policy-driven interventions to prevent desertification. In the past, however, the regions have been subject to continuous shifts in environmental and socio-cultural and political conditions, which makes it particularly difficult to distinguish into regional anthropogenic impact and global climate change effects. This article presents analyses of historical written sources, palaeoenvironmental data, and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) temporal series from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to compare landcover change during the Little Ice Age (LIA) and current spectral greening trends over the period 2001–2020. Results show that decreasing precipitation and temperature records triggered increased land degradation during the late 17th century in the transition zone from northern China and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to Mongolia. From current climate change perspectives, modern vegetation shows enhanced physical vegetation response related to an increase in precipitation (Ptotal) and temperature (T). Vegetation response is strongly related to Ptotal and T and an increase in physical plant condition indicates local to regional grassland recovery compared to the past 20-year average. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; Little Ice Age; NDVI; historical climatology; documentary sources; MODIS; spectral greening; land-use; governance climate change; Little Ice Age; NDVI; historical climatology; documentary sources; MODIS; spectral greening; land-use; governance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kempf, M. Documentary Evidence of 17th Century Landcover and Climate Change in Northern China and Mongolia Compared to Modern Spectral Greening Trends. Land 2022, 11, 100. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010100

AMA Style

Kempf M. Documentary Evidence of 17th Century Landcover and Climate Change in Northern China and Mongolia Compared to Modern Spectral Greening Trends. Land. 2022; 11(1):100. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010100

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kempf, Michael. 2022. "Documentary Evidence of 17th Century Landcover and Climate Change in Northern China and Mongolia Compared to Modern Spectral Greening Trends" Land 11, no. 1: 100. https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010100

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