China is at more risk of being hit by typhoons, floods and
drought this year than at any time in the last decade because of
climate change, a top meteorological official said yesterday.
"The situation is urgent. Temperatures in most areas will be
higher this year than in previous years, and typhoons are expected
to arrive in larger numbers than last year," said Zheng Guoguang,
director of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), at
yesterday's working conference on weather forecasting.
Heavy rainfalls could hit the south, centering on the middle
reaches of the Yangtze River, as well as the north, affecting most
the central part of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, he
Global climate change is the major cause of the increasing
probability of such disasters, he added.
Zheng's words echoed those of E Jingping, vice-minister of water
resources, who said last month that the Yangtze River was at risk
of major flooding, and that the Yellow River, which flows through
the central part of Inner Mongolia, could also burst its banks this
year even though its water level had declined several times during
the last several decades.
Bad weather this year has already caused damage, Xu Xiaofeng,
deputy director of the CMA, told China Daily. An unexpected
cold snap last month caused serious losses in northwest China's
Shaanxi Province, north China's Shanxi Province and central China's
Hunan and Hebei provinces.
Meteorologists are doing what they can to prepare for inclement
"We are expected to issue warnings about potentially disastrous
weather," said Xu.
Experts at the CMA have traveled around the country making sure
satellites, radars, lightening positioning systems and other
facilities are in the right places, he added.
In addition, one volunteer at each village in east China's
Jiangxi Province has been charged with monitoring signs of natural
disasters and is to report his or her findings to local
meteorological authorities. The province lies along the middle
reaches of the Yangtze River.
And starting on June 1, the FY-2 meteorological satellite will
start sending back photos indicating weather changes every 15
minutes. At present it transmits photos every 30 minutes, Xu
Meanwhile, the water level in the Three Gorges reservoir has
been lowered to 147.51 meters.
"We are confident of being able to meet the challenge of a big
flood," Cao Guangjing, vice-general manager of the China Three
Gorges Project Corporation, told the Xinhua News Agency on
"The Three Gorges reservoir can play a role in fighting against
floods," he said.
(China Daily May 10, 2007)