Articles | Volume 7, issue 3
Research article
16 Jun 2016
Research article |  | 16 Jun 2016

Responses of aeolian desertification to a range of climate scenarios in China

Xunming Wang, Ting Hua, and Wenyong Ma

Abstract. Aeolian desertification plays an important role in earth-system processes and ecosystems, and has the potential to greatly impact global food production. The occurrence of aeolian desertification has traditionally been attributed to increases in wind speed and temperature and decreases in rainfall. In this study, by integrating the aeolian desertification monitoring data and climate and vegetation indices, we found that although aeolian desertification is influenced by complex climate patterns and human activities, increases in rainfall and temperature and decreases in wind speed may not be the key factors of aeolian desertification controls in some regions of China. Our results show that, even when modern technical approaches are used, different approaches to desertification need to be applied to account for regional differences. These results have important implications for future policy decisions on how best to combat desertification.