China, EU strengthen space technology co-op to monitor climate change (2)

15:12, July 12, 2010      

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Zhang Peng, a researcher with the National Satellite Meteorological Center of the China Meteorological Administration, said "Within the framework of DRAGONESS, Chinese and European scientists combine the satellite data of the two sides to monitor the climate and offer advice to the environmental protection departments."

"The research will help evaluate the changing process of greenhouse gases in the long term," Zhang said.

Gao Zhihai, a researcher with the Institute of Resources Information of the Chinese Academy of Forestry Sciences, said Sino-EU cooperation also plays an important role in natural disaster monitoring.

"After the two devastating earthquakes in Wenchuan, southwest China's Sichuan Province in 2008, and in Yushu, northwest China's Qinghai Province in 2010, the EU provided China with timely disaster monitoring data which effectively supported the disaster relief works and rehabilitation," Gao said.

He added "The two sides should strengthen sharing and application of space research data in the future to improve the monitoring and evaluation of earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters."

Piao Shilong, a professor with Peking University, said the university and EU launched a joint project in April this year to study the carbon sources and carbon sinks in China.

A carbon sink is a component of the carbon cycle that stores more carbon than it emits into the atmosphere. A sink can be likened to a water well. Forests and soils can become carbon sinks.X The three year project will be of great importance in controlling emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, and curbing the negative effects of human activities in global climate change, Piao said.

"Through the project, China can obtain a clear picture of its carbon budget on the terrestrial ecosystem," Piao said.

"China' s carbon sinks are no less than those in Europe. About 28 to 37 percent of industrial carbon emissions can be offset, similar to the level in the United States," Piao said.

The outcome of the Sino-EU joint research will answer how much greenhouse gases can be absorbed by the terrestrial system in China. The research will also provide a scientific basis for developing policies regarding curbing greenhouse gases, Piao added.

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