The average surface temperature in China has elevated by 0.23°C (0.4°F) in each decade of the last 60 years, according to a Chinese government official. It is twice the average speed of warming recorded everywhere else on Earth.
The Chinese government has researched the effects of global warming on its environment. The results which were released today differ from previous statements which said that China was experiencing the same warming as the rest of the world.
According to Zheng Guoguang, the head of China’s meteorological administration, in the last 15 years, China lost 1 percent of its Gross Domestic Product due to weather-related disasters, eight times more than the global average.
According to the Chinese official the future does not bring good news. As greenhouse gas emissions are increasing global warming, China faces destructive events from climate-related catastrophes, Zheng said. These hazards could have a huge impact on water supply imbalances, food production and on strategic infrastructure projects like the the South-North Water Diversion and the huge Three Gorges Dam.
China produces greenhouse gases than any other country in the world, more than the US and EU combined. On a per-capita basis, China’s emissions are lower than the US’s and other developed countries.
China’s economy is still relying heavily on coal, a cheap but toxic resource, which is still fueling it’s growth model. Half of the global coal consumption happens in China.
That coal use is one of the causes for the noxious smog that covers many regions of China. The smog accounts for more than 670,000 Chinese premature deaths each year. The government in Beijing is trying to set up new environmental rules and wants to limit coal consumption by 2020, as a response to the dire situation of air quality in the Asian country.
China signed a pact with the US on Nov. 2014 in which it committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but many experts suggest that the promises are to vague to mean something. Others say that China may move toward other carbon-intensive energy sources, in order to replace its coal habit, a step that could lead to the increase of greenhouse gas emissions.
Zheng’s statements are showing that China realizes that cutting emissions needs to be an urgent priority.
Image Source: Eco News