AMUR-HEILONG RIVER BASIN

 

All chapters:

Introduction

Climate

Waters and water management

Ecosystems and ecoregions

Species diversity and use of biological resources

Nature conservation: econet and protected areas

Countries & cultures

Economy

Land use

International policy

Climate

Global Climate Change Observed and Predicted
Related maps, pictures, links

Many man-made local environmental problems are exacerbated by global climate change.  Droughts are endemic to the region and in its western parts are playing a major role in ecosystem dynamics.  Increasing economic development consumes an ever larger share of total water resources while climate change makes droughts more frequent and severe.  Together these agents are bringing some species and even ecosystem types to the brink of extinction.
Existing scientific forecasts of future climate change in particular regions are not very reliable and contradicting.
According to the Hadley Center, by 2070-2100, mean annual temperature in the Amur-Heilong River basin is predicted to rise by three to five degrees C.  Seasonal increases will vary, but the greatest increase of summer temperatures is predicted to be five to 10 degrees C.  Declines in soil moisture during summer and fall are likely to have the greatest negative consequences for flora and fauna.  In the Lower Amur, precipitation might increase, but even a slight change in mean temperature leads to rapid change in depth of soil freezing and extent of permafrost areas with profound consequences for vegetation cover and hydrological regimes.  Permafrost is already retreating to the north throughout the northern parts of the basin.
There is no agreement on trends in precipitation and runoff in Amur.  Some models predict possible decline by 100 mm per warm season in the western part of the basin, which equates to major ecosystem change.  Many other models show increase in river runoff by 25% from 1960 to 2050.  Pronounced cyclical droughts make direct observation of change very difficult.  However, while stations in Mongolia report rapidly progressing droughts and desertification, hydrometeorology bureaus elsewhere insist that they are observing increased runoff in most streams.
Critical here is that despite the scientific forecasts, ecosystems in the basin are vulnerable to any abrupt changes and are already actively evolving in response to modified climate patterns.  Human activities are also changing in response to natural shifts and are forcing a need to implement policies that will confront expected changes.

Map collection:

Climate, waters and water management

Maps:

Precipitation in Amur River Basin (from Lasserre 2003)

Songhua Floodplain map(ADB 2000)

Photogallery:

Amur climate

 

Sandstorm. Baicheng. Jilin.(Photo by E.Simonov)

Also look:

Amur climate

Precipitation in Amur-Heilong River Basin

Temperature in Amur-Heilong River Basin

Climate fluctuations, floods and droughts in Amur-Heilong River Basin

Cranes and storks and climate change in Middle Amur

Great Bustard and White-naped Crane response to climate cycles in Dauria

Ecosystem response to climate change in Amur-Heilong River Basin

Socio-economic response to climate change in Amur-Heilong River Basin

 

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