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Climate change will hit China hard, says top UK scientist
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Hundreds of millions of Chinese people are likely to face extreme climate change and shortages of water, food and energy in the next few decades unless the emission of carbon dioxide and other polluting chemicals is checked, the UK's chief scientific adviser said in Guangzhou yesterday.

John Beddington, engaged in research of global climate for decades, was concerned about the impact of global warming on the world, especially China, in a seminar, attended by dozens of leading climate scientists based in South China.

"China will be hit hard by climate change, as temperature is predicted to rise above the global average," Beddington said.

"The worst effects may be avoided by keeping the global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius."

A rise higher than 2 degrees increases the risk of a decline in global food production and is likely to have a major impact on water resources.

An additional 1 to 2 billion people, many in China, would be faced with water shortages, partly due to loss of mountain glaciers and the water they provide when melted in summer, he said.

According to his study, temperatures in China could rise by about 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2050, and 4 degrees or more by the end of the century.

The impact of climate change was evident in the blizzards and flood in China last year, and the frequent droughts in Guangdong province, he added.

Beddington, who met representatives of the China Academy of Sciences in Beijing on Monday, is seeking cooperation with environmental protection institutes in Guangzhou to fight global warming.

"The UK is very mature in clean power technologies, such as marine power and wind power," Beddington said, hoping enterprises in South China could do the same.

Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) engaged in environmental protection in Guangzhou are trying hard to build a closer network to help introduce overseas environmental protection technologies.

"We will build a website and open seminars once every three months in the future with almost 1,000 other NGOs and representatives of local enterprises in need of clean technologies," said Wang Yazhou, environment academy manager of the institute for sustainable communities, said.

(China Daily April 2, 2009)

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