Past and future trends in nutrients export by rivers to the coastal waters of China

H.J. Qu, C. Kroeze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


We analyzed the past and future trends in river export of dissolved and particulate nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and carbon (C) to the coastal waters of China, for sixteen rivers, as calculated by the Global NEWS models (Nutrient Export from WaterSheds). Between 1970 and 2000, the dissolved N and P export increased significantly, while export of other nutrients changed less. We analyzed the future trends (2000–2050) for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) scenarios. In general, the largest increases of dissolved nutrients export are projected for the Global Orchestration scenario, assuming a globalized world and a reactive approach toward environmental management. Future trends in river export of nutrients vary largely among basins, nutrient forms and scenarios. We calculate both increasing and decreasing trends between 2000 and 2050. We also identify the sources contributing to the nutrient export. For selected river basins we present results for alternative scenarios, which are based on the Global Orchestration scenario, but assume more environmental management. This illustrates how the NEWS models can be useful in regional analyses for decision making
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2075-2086
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • phosphorus transport
  • continental shelves
  • nitrogen inputs
  • global system
  • consequences
  • estuaries
  • ocean
  • limitation
  • marine
  • carbon


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