Assessment of the relative role of climate change and human activities in desertification: A review
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- Xu, D., Li, C., Zhuang, D. et al. J. Geogr. Sci. (2011) 21: 926. doi:10.1007/s11442-011-0890-1
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Climate change and human activities are the two kinds of driving forces in desertification, and assessing their relative role in desertification is of great significance to deeply understanding the driving mechanisms and preventing desertification expansion. This paper has systematically reviewed the progress of the researches on assessing the relative role of climate change and human activities in desertification from qualitative, semi-quantitative and quantitative aspects respectively. The authors found that there were still some problems in the previous researches. For example, the subjectivity in assessment was obvious, the assessment cannot be easily repeated, and the assessment and its results were always based on administrative regions and less taken and expressed in a continuous space. According to the progress of previous researches and the works conducted by the authors recently, we put forward a quantitative approach by selecting NPP as a common indicator to measure the relative role of climate change and human activities in desertification and dividing the ecological process of “driving force effect-dynamic response of desertified land” into several scenarios. Meanwhile, validation and scale of assessment should be taken into account when quantitative assessment of the relative role of climate change and human activities in desertification are carried out.