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Weather for Next Century? Warm...
China will see continuous warm weather during the next 50 to 100 years, and the weather in the north will continue to become still drier, posing serious threats to the country's ecosystem and economy, warned a Chinese scientist.

Climate changes in China in the past century reflect the pattern of global warming seen around the world and is likely to continue for the next century, said Qin Dahe, a leading Chinese glacier researcher and meteorologist.

Qin, who is also the director of the China Meteorological Administration, predicts that the average temperature in China will rise 1.7 C between the years 2020 and 2030, and 2.2 C between 2030 and 2050. Northern areas may record warmer weather than the south.

The southern parts of Northeast China and North China, a densely populated area featuring large cities such as Beijing and Tianjin, which is also an important agricultural center, could experience dry weather during this period, he added.

This area has seen increasingly dry weather as the total rainfall has gradually decreased since the 1950s. The signs of global warming have become more significant since the entire country has undergone 16 consecutive "warm winters" since 1985, he said.

The warm weather's effects on the ecosystem and the country's economy could be "unbearable, irreversible and persistent," he said at the annual session of the China Association for Science and Technology.

Sea levels have also continued to rise at an average rate of 2.6 millimeters during the past half century in China, making the country's long coastal areas more vulnerable to floods and storms, he said.

The farming industry could also see simultaneous increases in investment and reductions in output if the bad weather persists, he added.

Excessive emissions of greenhouse gases as a result of the burning of fossil fuels were cited as the major cause of global warming, Qin said.

(China Daily September 9, 2002)

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