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A Study on Driving Forces of Per Capital Ecological Footprint at Multiple Timescales in China during the Period 1953-2007

ZHANG Xueqin1,CHEN Chengzhong2,LIN Zhenshan3 (1. School of International Business,Linyi Normal University,Linyi 276000,China; 2. Department of Geographical Science,Hubei Normal University,Huangshi 435002,China; 3. School of Geographical Science,Nanjing Normal University,Nanjing 210046,China)  
As an environmental impact assessment method,the ecological footprint (EF) model has received increasingly more attention and positive response in the scientific community. There are various EF studies in recent years on long time series of the influence on ecosystem sustainability. The variation in long time EF series is complex as it is determined by a multitude of driving forces such as population,consumption,land use,climate,technology,and management. It would,therefore,be greatly helpful to examine the relationship between EF and its driving forces. The empirical mode decomposition (EMD) method has been applied to nonlinear scientific fields successfully,such as signal processing,image processing,seismology,atmosphere science,and ecological economics. An optimization regress model could be developed with the stepwise regression method. However,little work has been down on the driving forces of long time EF series by combining the EMD with stepwise regression methods. In this work,per capital EF in China during the period 1953-2007 was calculated based on the EF model. Its fluctuant cycles were subsequently decomposed with the EMD method. In addition,driving factors of per capita EF in China were explored at multiple timescales based on the stepwise regression method. Results showed that: 1) over the last 55 years,the obvious fluctuation cycles of per capita EF in China were 4.3 years,10.8 years,showing an consistently increasing trend; 2) an around 4.3-year period of power generation,per capita GDP,crude oil consumption,secondary industry,heavy industry,etc. were generally consistent with per capita EF in China; 3) an around 10.8-year period of urbanization,crude oil consumption,heavy industry,etc. were generally consistent with per capita EF in China; and 4) consistently increasing trends of urbanization,crude oil consumption,etc. were generally consistent with per capita EF in China. The changes in these cycles and consistently increasing trend of EF per capita in China may be driven by economic growth,industry structure,energy consumption,and urbanization. These findings suggest that more emphasis be placed on maintaining proper economic growth,optimizing industrial structure and the composition of total energy consumption,properly controlling town construction in policy-making. Corresponding policy recommendations are given. This study would provide feasible approaches to mitigating human impacts on the environment,providing reference to sustainable development,and enriching the assessment index system of sustainable development based on the EF analysis. In the meantime,it can also provide new means to analyze driving forces of human impacts on the environment and environmental impact assessment.
【Fund】: 湖北省自然科学基金项目(编号:2009CDB249);; 临沂市重大科技创新项目(编号:080101003);; 临沂师范学院博士启动基金资助项目(编号:BS07021)
【CateGory Index】: X22
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