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Volume 16, issue 12 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 16, 2697-2711, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-16-2697-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 15 Dec 2016

Research article | 15 Dec 2016

The drought risk of maize in the farming–pastoral ecotone in Northern China based on physical vulnerability assessment

Zhiqiang Wang1,2, Jingyi Jiang2,3, and Qing Ma4,5 Zhiqiang Wang et al.
  • 1National Disaster Reduction Center/Satellite Application Center for Disaster Reduction of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Beijing 100124, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Response, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Beijing 100124, China
  • 3INRA-EMMAH UMR 1114, 84914 Avignon, France
  • 4College of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 5Chongqing No.18 High School, Chongqing 400020, China

Abstract. Climate change is affecting every aspect of human activities, especially the agriculture. In China, extreme drought events caused by climate change have posed a great threat to food safety. In this work we aimed to study the drought risk of maize in the farming–pastoral ecotone in Northern China based on physical vulnerability assessment. The physical vulnerability curve was constructed from the relationship between drought hazard intensity index and yield loss rate. The risk assessment of agricultural drought was conducted from the drought hazard intensity index and physical vulnerability curve. The probability distribution of drought hazard intensity index decreased from south-west to north-east and increased from south-east to north-west along the rainfall isoline. The physical vulnerability curve had a reduction effect in three parts of the farming–pastoral ecotone in Northern China, which helped to reduce drought hazard vulnerability on spring maize. The risk of yield loss ratio calculated based on physical vulnerability curve was lower compared with the drought hazard intensity index, which suggested that the capacity of spring maize to resist and adapt to drought is increasing. In conclusion, the farming–pastoral ecotone in Northern China is greatly sensitive to climate change and has a high probability of severe drought hazard. Risk assessment of physical vulnerability can help better understand the physical vulnerability to agricultural drought and can also promote measurements to adapt to climate change.

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We established a preliminary theoretical methodology and an operational approach for assessing drought risk of maize based on a physical vulnerability curve using the EPIC model to further understand the hazard mechanisms of drought. Based on the assumption that all maize was exposed to drought hazard, the risk assessment of agricultural drought of the farming–pastoral ecotone in Northern China was conducted from the drought hazard index and physical vulnerability curve.
We established a preliminary theoretical methodology and an operational approach for assessing...
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