Destroyed houses caused by flooding, near the town of Nemba, Sichuan province.
Photo by Amnon Gutman @gutmanen for #everydayclimatechange.
China's challenges in adapting to climate change are particularly acute as it is a country struggling to prevent even more pollution and natural disasters that stem, in part, from 30 years of unchecked economic growth. According to scientific assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global temperature increases may range from 1.4 degrees Celsius to 5.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century. In 2008, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) stated that over the past century (1908-2007) the average temperature of the earth's surface in China has risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius. Between 1986 and 2007 China experienced 21 warm winters with 2007 being the warmest year since CMA began systematic meteorological measurements in 1951. Furthermore, China is estimated to have annual average temperatures rise by 3.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century. Like the United States, the impacts of global climate change in China are diverse, due to the country's vast size and its drastically different geographies—ranging from extensive mountains, grasslands and deserts to tropical forests and low-lying coastal areas. This research brief examines four major biophysical climate change impacts on China's environment: melting glaciers, rising sea levels, biodiversity loss, and increase in natural disasters.
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