On Thursday, China National Environment Monitoring
Center published a network monitoring survey saying that the
country can expect a lower frequency and intensity of sand and dust
storms overall this year.
Due to low rainfall in the northwest of Gansu
in 2004, the number of sandstorms initiated there is expected to
increase, resulting in more storms in western regions but fewer in
Since there were no dramatic changes in conditions
in the north of Xinjiang
Uygur Autonomous Region and the Alxa region of Inner
Mongolia, sandstorms originating there should maintain a
similar frequency and intensity as last year.
North central Inner Mongolia and the Onqin Daga
desertified region are expected to produce fewer sandstorms this
year as levels of vegetation improved there in 2003, helping to
bind the soil.
Similar improvements in the condition of vegetation
Hui Autonomous Region and northern Shaanxi
Province will also have a positive effect, with areas
"downstream" of them, including Beijing, seeing fewer and less
severe sand and dust storms.
According to analysis of data from recent years,
most of the north of the country, apart from areas of Xinjiang
Uygur Autonomous Region and western Gansu Province in January,
should not be affected by sand and dust storms.
(China.org.cn, Xinhua News Agency January 14,