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Expert NameProf. Xiaoping Yang
DivisionInstitute of Geology and Geophysics
Telephone86 10 82998387
Emailxpyang(at); xpyang(at)
Work ExperienceOver the past three decades I have done research on landscape changes in north China which is an important portion of the drylands of the middle latitudes. For example, I have reexamined the evaporation rates and ground water system in the Badain Jaran Desert and used the lacustrine records in the sand sea for interpreting Holocene climate changes. I, by detailed case studies, try to make it clearer that the vast deserts in China are not resulted from the processes of desertification. I think my estimate about the role of desertification in the global carbon cycle is also more realistic than some data published earlier. My work in the Hunshandake Sandy Land of northern China clarified the relationship between the processes of desertification and their triggering factors, and suggested that the carbon storage in soil can decrease by more than 40% in just three decades due to desertification.
QualificationsDr. rer. nat. in Physical Geography, Environmental Geology and Bioclimatology, Göttingen University, Germany, 1992
Number of Publications100
Awards1.Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research from the GSA (Geological Society of America, 2010). 2.Huang Jiqing Prize from the Huang Jiqing (formerly written as Huang, T. K., one of the most important initiators of geological studies in China) Foundation (2008); 3.COMLAND Award from the International Geographical Union’s Commission on Land Degradation and Desertification (2007).
Other Activities1.Editor, Quaternary Science Reviews (Elsevier, Amsterdam). Member of the IAG (International Association of Geomorphologists) Executive Committee (2009 – pres). 2.Vice Chair of the Commission on Geomorphology and Quaternary Geology, Geographical Society of China (2005 – pres). 3.Steering committee member of the COMLAND (International Geographical Union’s Commission on Land Degradation and Desertification (2004 – pres). 4.Steering committee member of the International Geographical Union’s Commission on Arid Lands, Humankinds and Environment (2005 – pres).
Publications1.Yang X., Scuderi L., 2010. Hydrological and climatic changes in deserts of China since the late Pleistocene. Quaternary Research, 73, 1-9. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 2.Yang X., 2010. Desertification and land degradation in arid and semi-arid regions. In: Alcantara-Ayala, I., Goudie, A. (Eds), Geomorphological Hazards and Disaster Prevention, pp. 189 – 198. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 3. Yang X., Ding Z., Fan X., Zhou Z., Ma N., 2007. Processes and mechanisms of desertification in northern China during the last 30 years, with a special reference to the Hunshandake Sandy Land, eastern Inner Mongolia. Catena, 71, 2-12. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 4.Yang X., Liu Z., Zhang F., White P., Wang X., 2006. Hydrological changes and land degradation in the southern and eastern Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, China. Land Degradation and Development, 17, 381-392. Wiley InterScience, West Sussex. 5. Yang, X., Dong, J., White, P., 2006. The key role of water resources management in ecological restoration in western China. Geographical Research (Journal of the Institute of Australian Geographers) 44, 146 - 154. Wiley-Blackwell, Richmond.
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