Global warming causes extreme weather phenomena

Global warming causes extreme weather phenomena
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Chinese government should pay due attention to the effect of global warming, which led many parts of northern China to
suffer the worst dry spells for 50 years with its southern part hit by typhoons and tropical storms, an expert on disaster
reduction said.
"Nearly one third of China's land area has had dry spells this year, while southern China is hit by typhoons and storms at the
meantime," said Shi Peijun, an expert with the office of China National Committee for Natural Disaster Reduction, "The
contradictory phenomena epitomizes an extreme representation of global warming."
Since early this year, the worst drought over half a century has affected many parts of northern China, including Hebei
province, and Beijing and Tianjin municipalities and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
"We are reluctant to use water to wash our clothes as it's too dear and costly to us, and we save the dish-washing water for
our foul and domestic animals," said the 82-year-old farmer Li Zhanlu in Tongxin county, Ningxia.
Ningxia reports that approximately 202,700 hectares of cropland that have gone without irrigation, with about 73,000
hectares of serious arid land, said the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.
Earlier this month, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said drought has resulted in a scare of drinking
water for 14 million people in northern China.
Some 16.3 million hectares of farmland, over 12 percent of the nation's total, was affected by drought, which also led to
insufficient food and water supplies for 11.6 million livestock, the headquarters said.
The headquarters has ordered local governments to adopt prompt, substantial measures and the Finance Ministry has
earmarked 100 million yuan (12.5 million U.S. dollars) for drought-stricken areas.
Meanwhile, annual mid-year flooding has set in across a large swath of central and eastern China.
Last week, Tropical Storm Chanchu pummeled southern China, leaving at least eight people dead, and flooding a large
number of homes in an area where the government evacuated almost one million people.
"From the Hollywood blockbuster 'The Day after Tomorrow,' people can came to realize how grave consequence the global
warming could bring about," Shi Peijun said, "so China should gave the corresponding recognition to it."
An Australian government report released on May 23 acknowledged that warmer sea surface temperatures lead to more
moisture and heat in the atmosphere, fuelling storms. But a warmer world can also lead to more intense droughts,
threatening the livelihoods of millions around the globe.
Experts said global warming could also caused the greenhouse effect, in which so-called greenhouse gases, especially
carbon dioxide, swaddle the Earth like a blanket, keeping the sun's warmth.
Some greenhouse warming is natural, but many scientists hold that accelerated warming over the last century was caused by
human activities including coal-burning power plants and the use of other fossil fuels.
Mo Honge