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Scientist Warns North China Becoming Arid

China's northern regions have shown signs of becoming arid while the climate has been obviously becoming warmer in China in the past two decades, a meteorological scientist warned in Beijing Monday.


Qin Dahe, director of the Meteorological Administration and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said to a science conference that so far, the climates in China's northwestern, northern and northeastern regions have demonstrated the most obvious signs of becoming warmer, especially in the northwestern regions, which reported a climate change greater than the national average level.


The northern regions have seen an evidently lesser rainfall in the past years and have indicated a trend of becoming arid, Qin said.


The trend has been proved by the strongest, largest-scale and longest-lasting sand dust storm in the recent decade, Qin said.


Statistics show that China's desertification area accounts for a quarter of the country's total land area and since 1970s, China has seen an annual increase of 2,460 square kilometers of desertified land on average.


Scientists from the Meteorological Administration predict that the warming trend will become greater in scale and intensity in the future.


The climate change will lead to a degradation of ecological system and affect the development of the national economy, as well as many fields including agriculture, water resources and the security of land, grain, environment and energy resources, Qin said.


(Xinhua News Agency May 11, 2004)

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