CHINA / National

China faces rising temperatures
Updated: 2006-05-18 22:28

China's average temperature may rise by 2.8 degrees Celsius by 2030 and its crop production could tumble by 10 percent as global warming throws the climate into disarray, a senior Chinese climate official said on Thursday.

The leading China Meteorological Administration official told a government meeting in Beijing that global warming is likely to lift China's average temperature -- compared to annual averages for 1961-1990 -- by 1.3 to 2.1 degrees Celsius by 2020, and by 1.5 to 2.8 degrees by 2030, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

And these rises threaten to overturn patterns of rainfall and slash crop output, said the official, whom Xinhua did not name.

"Our country's precipitation distribution over time and space will become even more unbalanced," Xinhua said, citing the official, who said the changes would lead to less rain and the accelerated spread of arid land in northern China and around the Yangtze River, the country's largest river.

But in other areas, climate changes may lead to more severe and frequent rainstorms that "will present a massive threat to our country's disaster prevention system", the report said.

The official said disturbed weather patterns could cut China's crop production by 5 to 10 percent by 2030, with wheat, rice and corn suffering the steepest falls.

"Under the impact of cimate change, instability in our country's agricultural production will increase and turbulence in production volumes will grow," the report said.

Scientists believe industrial pollution and human consumption are raising global temperatures by producing greenhouses gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide from burning coal and other fossil fuels.

The United States accounts for nearly a quarter -- 24 percent -- of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.

Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liangyu told the Beijing meeting on Thursday that China needed to upgrade its weather tracking and climate research to address impending change.

"We need to observe changes in weather and climate, and the question of global warming, from a high strategic vantage point," he said, according to the China Meteorological Administration website (


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