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China, US Launch Joint Typhoon and Weather Study

Scientists from China and the United States have launched a joint five-year program to study typhoons and other meteorological movements over the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea.

The South China Sea Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the University of Hawaii are to conduct the meteorological research, according to the CAS.

Both organizations will set up their own oceanic meteorology laboratories to study important meteorological movements, such as typhoons and other weather patterns.

The two sides will regularly exchange visits and ideas.

Since early 1990s, scientists of the two countries have cooperated on studies of oceanic biology and the monsoon in the South China Sea.

Chinese scientists say such programs are valuable to the prevention of maritime disasters in both countries and also help China enhance its weather forecasting accuracy, cutting weather-related losses.

Climate change in the South China Sea has a great influence on coastal areas in southern and eastern China. Each year around 10 typhoons and strong tropical storms form on this sea area, experts say.

The latest typhoon, Saomai, the worst storm on the Chinese mainland in 50 years, has left 441 dead and caused huge economic losses to China.

(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2006)

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