Experts Warn of Warming Climate

Spring Festival temperatures in most parts of China are above average this year. Researchers in Shanghai say for the next century, the lunar new year will grow steadily warmer.

Leading climate change experts and government officials from around the world recently estimated a potentially devastating global warming of 1.4 to 5.8 degrees centigrade over the coming century during a four-day conference which finished recently.

The conference report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says the evidence for humanity's negative influence on the global climate is now stronger than ever.

However, critics say the changing climate is part of a natural change. “There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities,” said Ding Yihui, director of the national climate center.

Reconstructions of the climate for the past 1,000 years, as well as estimates of natural climate changes, suggest the warming over the past century was unusual and unlikely to be entirely natural in origin, said the IPCC report.

“The scientific consensus presented in this comprehensive report about human-induced climate change should sound alarm bells in every national capital and in every local community,” said Klaus Topfer, executive director with the United Nations’ Environment Program. “We must move ahead boldly with clean energy technologies, and we should start preparing ourselves now for rising sea levels, changing rain patterns and other impacts of global warming.”

Most experts highly praised the Shanghai government’s environmentally friendly contributions.

“We find great changes in the city’s environment and infrastructure,” said R.T. Watson, IPCC chairman. “Shanghai government has recognized the importance of climate change and found solutions in projects.”

Experts said the 1990s were the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in instrumental records since 1861.

(China Daily 01/23/2001)

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