Tang Yuan, general director of the Research Department for Industry, Transportation and Trade, of the State Council Development Research Center, disclosed on November 25 that the direct economic loss from desertification reaches 54 billion yuan every year. This has already affected the lives and productivity of nearly 400 million people.
While attending the Fourth Maritime Power Strategy Forum held in Tianjin, Tang said China is one of the countries suffering from the worlds most serious desertification problems. China's desertified land accounts for 18.1% of the country's total land area. The nationwide area of water and soil erosion covers 3.56 million square kilometers, while desertified land amounts to 1.74 million square kilometers. Over 90% of natural grassland has been degraded. Meanwhile, dried-up lakes, an increasing amount of airborne dust and frequent sandstorms caused by desertification have severely affected the health and quality of life of people in northern regions such as Beijing and Tianjin.
According to the energy spectrum analysis on dust and the analysis from scanning electron microscopes conducted by the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, the dried-up lakes in Inner Mongolia, Gansu and Xinjiang contain high amounts of dust, while over 90% of the dust in northern regions such as Beijing and Tianjin comes from the dried-up lakes in northern China.
By People's Daily Online