Global warming has resulted in China's second warmest winter in
50 years, causing sandstorms, heavy fog, and severe drought.
The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) said yesterday the
winter season from December 2006 to February 2007 recorded a
national average temperature of -2.4 C, following the warmest
winter in the country between 1998 and 1999, with an average
temperature of -2.3 C.
Song Lianchun, spokesman for CMA, told a press conference that
the national average temperature and the regional average
temperature in 19 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities
last month were the highest compared to the corresponding periods
each year since 1951.
Farmers are concerned that high winter temperatures will have an
adverse affect on agricultural production because pests are able to
survive and breed rampantly. In addition, the sustained temperature
increase has resulted in a series of abnormal weather
In some areas of north and south China intense fog lingered for
up to 10 days, causing chaos to transportation and worsening air
By the end of last month, a large part of north, northwest, and
southwest China had been stricken by severe drought.
Six million people in Chongqing could be facing water shortages by
the beginning of May due to drought along the Yangtze River, Xinhua
reported on Wednesday. Song warned that Sichuan Province and Chongqing, which suffered
from drought and scorching-high temperatures last year, could
possibly be hit by more drought again this year.
The northern part of the country has already experienced four
sandstorms since the start of the year, and another cold front
forecasted for the weekend could possibly cause more sandstorms in
Xinjiang, Gansu and Inner Mongolia.
On Wednesday, wind gusts from a sandstorm derailed a train in
the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, leaving three dead and more
than 30 people injured.
The good news, however, is that the CMA expects fewer sandstorms
this year, predicting 11 to 15 sandstorms in the north in spring,
compared to 18 in 2006.
Snow and rain can be expected in the middle and eastern areas of
the country in the next few days with the drop in temperatures.
(China Daily March 2, 2007)