Warming a bane for life

(China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-07 07:03

Temperatures in China will keep rising this century because of increased energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, with warmer winters in North China being the most obvious signs, says a report.

Compared to the 1961-90 period, the average annual temperature will rise between 1.3 C and 2.1 C by 2020, and 2.3 C and 3.3 C by 2050, the report says.

Global warming will harm China's farming, ecological, social and economic systems, especially its water resources, marine environment, forests, giant projects and human health.

Some damage will be irreversible, says the National Assessment Report on Climate Change, released jointly by six central departments and academic organizations, including the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), China Meteorological Administration (CMA) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The production of foodgrain including rice, wheat and corn, could fall by as much as 37 per cent in the second half of this century if no effective steps are taken to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the report warns.

Glaciers in western China will shrink by 27 per cent by 2050 from their size in the last century, weakening the flow of water in rivers.

By 2020, the national annual precipitation could increase by 2-3 percent and by 2050, by 5-7 percent.

But because of rising temperatures, it'll become more difficult to store water and find water resources.

While the flow of water in rivers is feared to be decline by 10 percent in northern China in the next 50 to 100 years, floods will become more frequent in the southern part because the runoff there can increase by up to 24 percent.

China's coastal area, which is vulnerable to global warming, will experience more typhoons, floods, storms and heavy rainfalls.

Also, the reduced flow of water in the rivers will result in more salt tides, causing great loss to the economy.

The rising temperature will cause the sea level to rise, posing a threat to delta areas of the Yellow River, Yangtze River and the Pearl River. The three regions are China's important economic development zones.

And last but not the least, climatic changes could increase in incidence of heart and blood diseases, malaria and dengue fever, the report warns.

China Daily

(China Daily 02/07/2007 page4)

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