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Temperature to Rise in China
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An environmental body has suggested that the average temperature in China will rise by 1.7 degrees Celsius by 2030 and 2.2 degrees by 2050.


China has been experiencing temperature increases in the past 50 years because of global warming with east and northeast China encountering the biggest rise of 0.4 to 0.8 degree Celsius every 10 years, said the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED).


According to the council there has been a decrease in precipitation with reduced runoff in the majority of Chinese rivers.


Dong Guangrong of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said glaciers covering the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, which account for 47 percent of China's total glacier coverage, are shrinking at an annual rate of 7 percent.


Although melting will increase river flow in the short term, rivers will gradually dry up once glaciers disappear, leading to droughts, desertification and sandstorms.


Global warming will make water shortages worse in northeast and northwest China, the council warned.


This summer, hot weather and a severe drought in southwest China left more than 18 million people short of drinking water; in addition, hundreds died in typhoons and floods along the coast and millions of hectares of croplands were damaged.


Meteorological disasters take about 3 to 6 percent off China's gross domestic product every year, according to Qin Dahe, director of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).


The council predicts China will suffer direct losses of 100-300 billion yuan (US$12.7-38.1 billion) in the next 10 to 20 years.


Scientific studies show that most of the earth's warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities, which have increased amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases that cause the warming.


If China could effectively control greenhouse gas emissions precipitation were likely to increase in its major river valleys over the next 60 years, said Dong Wenjie, director-general of the National Climate Center with the CMA.


China, with relatively high emissions of carbon dioxide per unit of gross domestic product, has written "effective control of greenhouse gases" into its 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10).


In 2002 China's carbon dioxide emission totaled 4.08 billion tons ranking it second in the world after the US.


(Xinhua News Agency November 14, 2006)

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