Top climate experts warned in Brussels on Friday that the damage
caused by global warming will be greater and occur sooner than
previously forecast, ranging from hunger in Africa and Asia to mass
extinctions and rising ocean levels.
China and more than 100 other nations taking part in the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations
taskforce researching climate change, agreed a final report on
The report said no continent would likely escape the adverse
effects of climate change if global temperatures rose more than 2-3
C compared to their 1990 levels.
According to a news release posted on the IPCC's website,
climate change, widely blamed on human emissions of greenhouse
gases (GHGs), is already under way.
Desertification, drought and rising seas would be most serious
in the tropics, from sub-Saharan Africa to the Pacific islands, the
Lin Erda, one of the country's top climate experts, said the
report includes a wide-ranging discussion of the effects of climate
"The report shows the latest understanding of how climate change
affects ecosystems, water, food, coasts and health," said Lin, who
contributed to the Chinese part of the report and participated in
the early part of Brussels meeting days ago.
The report also brings closure to some long-running arguments.
For example, the report confirmed that the chances the North
Atlantic thermohaline circulation, the process by which seawater
moves between the oceans, would stop during the 21st century were
"very unlikely". European researchers had previously worried that
any disruption to the process would cause temperatures to drop, Lin
He said that the Chinese team has an active and cooperative
attitude in compiling and approving the report of Group II to the
Fourth Assessment of the IPCC.
"All China's suggestions about how the report could be improved
were based on scientific and technological research both at home
and abroad," he said. "The report is the result of broad-based
agreement by all members."
"China is a responsible part of the international community,"
said Lin. "This country has and will take measures to mitigate and
adapt to climate change."
China has set a target of cutting energy consumption per unit of
gross domestic product by 20 percent from the 2005 level by 2010.
China, as a developing country without an obligation to cut GHG
emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, is pursuing projects under the
protocol's clean development mechanism.
The world should also be aware that the country's CO2 emissions
per capita still stand below the world average, he said. "The
government needs to make climate change an integral part of its
development planning in order to address the problem of global
warming," Lin said.
The report by the IPCC, which brought together 2,500 scientists,
will guide policy in coming years on issues such as extending the
UN Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012.
(China Daily April 7, 2007)