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Climate change will constrain the rapid urban expansion in drylands: A scenario analysis with the zoned Land Use Scenario Dynamics-urban model

Liu, Zhifeng, Yang, Yanjie, He, Chunyang, Tu, Mengzhao
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.651 pp. 2772-2786
arid lands, climate change, climate models, land use, urbanization, China
Evaluation of climate change impacts (CCIs) on urban expansion is important to improving the urban sustainability in drylands. Taking the agro-pastoral transitional zone of northern China (APTZNC) as an example, this study evaluates potential CCIs on urban expansion in 2015–2050. First, we set up six climate change scenarios (CCSs) based on the simulated results of global climate model and regional climate model under different representative concentration pathways. Then, we simulate regional urban expansion under the different CCSs using the zoned Land Use Scenario Dynamics-urban (LUSD-urban) model. We find that climate change will be a key factor that affects urban expansion in this region. The urban land affected by climate change in the entire region will increase from 20.24–26.48 km2 (2020) to 119.71–339.26 km2 (2050), an increase of 4.91–11.81 times. The CCIs on urban expansion will be the most significant in the mid-western region. In 2050, the urban land potentially affected by climate change will be 98.70–213.88 km2, which is 42.26%–134.12% of the urban land in the entire region. To improve urban sustainability in the APTZNC, effective measures must be adopted to mitigate and adapt to CCIs on urban expansion.