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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2013, Article ID 163248, 9 pages
Research Article

Impacts of Future Climate Changes on Shifting Patterns of the Agro-Ecological Zones in China

School of Mathematics and Physics, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan 430074, China

Received 17 May 2013; Revised 7 July 2013; Accepted 12 July 2013

Academic Editor: Xiangzheng Deng

Copyright © 2013 Yingzhi Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An agroecological zone (AEZ) is a land resource mapping unit, defined in terms of climate, landform, and soils, and has a specific range of potentials and constraints for cropping (FAO, 1996). The shifting patterns of AEZs in China driven by future climatic changes were assessed by applying the agroecological zoning methodology proposed by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in this study. A data processing scheme was proposed in this study to reduce systematic errors in projected climate data using observed data from meteorological stations. AEZs in China of each of the four periods: 2011–2020, 2021–2030, 2031–2040, and 2041–2050 were drawn. It is found that the future climate change will lead to significant local changes of AEZs in China and the overall pattern of AEZs in China is stable. The shifting patterns of AEZs will be characterized by northward expansion of humid AEZs to subhumid AEZs in south China, eastward expansion of arid AEZs to dry and moist semiarid AEZs in north China, and southward expansion of dry semiarid AEZs to arid AEZs in southwest China.