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National Policy Suggested on Climate Change

Qin Dahe, head of the China Meteorological Administration, said at the 12th conference of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) that global warming will have an irreversible and sustained negative impact on Chinese economic and social development.

Qin, also a CAS academician, pointed out that the nation has no plans to draft any strategy or policy for fighting global warming trends. Such a policy, he said, is desperately needed.

"We need to study comprehensively the effects of climate change and take appropriate measures."

Qin appealed for increased investment in long-term research on climate change.

A nationwide observation network on climate systems would be useful, he said. The China Climate Observation System (CCOS) might help gather more specific worldwide data. The existing climate observation network is only for weather forecasting, while the CCOS surveys physical, chemical and biological changes as well as human activities that could result in climate change.

Greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, have been the primary cause of global warming in the past half-century. Over the past 100 years, the average temperature in China has risen 0.4 to 0.5 degree Celsius.

A United Nations Environment Program report said that climate change in 2003 cost the world at least US$60 billion in damage, 10 percent more than in the previous year.

Experts forecast that by 2030, the average temperature in China will have increased 1.7 degrees Celsius. By 2050, it will have increased by 2.2 degrees Celsius.

"It's very sensitive and complex for every country to respond to multilateral negotiations on climate change," Qin said. "Thus, it is vitally important to establish a uniform policy."

(Xinhua News Agency June 6, 2004)

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