Beijing reports record high temperatures
After temperature records were broken on "Lichun" (the beginning of spring, the first of China's 24 traditional agricultural "terms" in the lunar calendar, which this year fell on February 4), Beijing reported another record high temperature of 16 degrees Celsius on the afternoon of February 5, the highest recorded temperature on that date in the last 167 years (systematic temperature records have been kept since 1840). Meteorological data shows that the average temperature in Beijing last December and this January were significantly higher than in previous years and that trend will continue this month. Meteorological experts say that the recent abnormally high temperatures have seldom been seen during this period at any time in history. Temperatures also remain high in Harbin city. The snow in the streets is melting. In Shanghai, the temperature was above 20 degrees Celsius for a few days in early February.
China tightens controls on greenhouse gas emissions
Between 1991 and 2005, China reduced its consumption of standard coal for energy by 800 million tons, resulting in 1.8-billion-ton decrease in carbon dioxide emissions, Qin Dahe, director of the Central Meteorological Bureau said at a press conference at the State Council Information Office on Tuesday morning.
In response to reporters' questions about how China intends to control greenhouse gas emissions, Qin said that that the Chinese government has established a target for local energy consumption in its 11th Five-Year Plan as part of the National Economic and Social Development Program. Accordingly, local governments must reduce their energy consumption levels by 20 percent based on what they were at the end of the 10th Five-Year Plan period. China is adopting a series of measures to make sure this goal is achieved.
According to Qin, the country is not only exploring low-carbon and renewable energy options, but endeavoring to improve the energy structure as well as to promote afforestation and better environment protection.
"China's forest coverage rate has increased in recent years," Qin said, "The country has implemented a series of environment improvement and protection measures relating to such things as protecting natural forests, returning farmland to forest and pasture and constructing grasslands and natural protection zones. We estimate that between 1980 and 2005, afforestation caused China's accumulated net carbon dioxide to decrease by approximately 3.06 billion tons.
Although the data will not be available until the China Meteorological Administration publishes its report at the end of February, Qin admitted that this winter is warm.
"Beijing's daytime temperature exceeded 0 degrees Celsius, and recently rose as high as 9 and 10 degrees. This is connected somewhat to global warming."
Global warming is certainly part of the abnormal Beijing weather, said Qin. The warm winter and the several major typhoons that hit last year are all a consequence of global climate change.
"Global climate change or global warming, generally speaking, will affect every country, every family and every citizen in this global village," he added.
"We have only one earth. All human beings living on this planet are surrounded by the atmosphere. The atmosphere is moving and air movement correlates to that."
As chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the administrator of China Meteorological Administration (CMA), Qin Dahe advised that China Meteorological Administration will put forward some suggestions to the Chinese government in regards to global warming, a phenomenon recognized in the latest IPCC assessment report. These suggestions will include, for example, increasing investment in climate change research during the 11th Five-Year Plan period, meteorological technology development programs and more.
By People's Daily Online