Sustainability Science

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 249–260 | Cite as

Impacts of snow disaster on meat production and adaptation: an empirical analysis in the yellow river source region

  • Yi-ping FangEmail author
  • Chen Zhao
  • Yong-jian Ding
  • Da-he Qin
  • Jia-li Huang
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Climate Change Mitigation, Adaption, and Resilience


The Yellow River source region is located in the hinterland of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, and has a sensitive response to global change due to its unique cryosphere processes. Any slight changes in natural elements and human activity can have a magnified effect on grassland ecosystem, animal husbandry, and pastoral livelihoods since its economy is exclusively dominated by grassland animal husbandry. Because snow disaster has been one of the major natural disasters in the source region, it is crucial to explore the economic impact of snow disaster on animal husbandry and identify effective adaptation measures. A nonlinear model of meat production was established in relation to snow disaster, grassland productivity, and disaster prevention by introducing a snow level index, and selecting three key indicators of grassland productivity and disaster prevention, including grass growing season precipitation concentration, sown grassland area, and warm barn area. This is an inverse of negative correlation, less meat when there is more snow. Per unit increase in snow level in the source region led to a decrease of 0.213 units in meat production. However, production losses caused by the snow disaster could be effectively suppressed by the increase in scale and intensity of sown grassland and warm barn construction. Per unit increase in sown grassland and warm barn area led to an increase of 0.240 and 0.610 units in meat production, respectively. The effects of sown grassland and warm barn area in reducing snow damage at different snow levels were analyzed. Snow disaster adaptation in the source region should include acceleration of the construction of meteorological disaster prevention and mitigation system, to ensure balanced forage supply between winter and spring, to prioritize the development of warm barn, and reduce the proportion of self-financed construction warm barn to encourage active participation of pastoralists, and to develop insurance mechanism for livestock.


Meat production Snow disaster prevention Adaptation Adaptive performance 



This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant Number: 2013CBA01808) and National Key Technology Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant Number: 2014BAC05B01). The authors would like to thank two anonymous referees for their useful review comments on previous versions of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yi-ping Fang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chen Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yong-jian Ding
    • 3
  • Da-he Qin
    • 3
  • Jia-li Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Mountain Hazards & EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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