Human health may get threatened by rising temperature: report

Date:2011-11-16litingting  Text Size:

BEIJING, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- An official assessment has forecasted several potential challenges that climate change may bring about, including impacts on bio-diversity and disease control, China would face in the context of global warming.

The annual mean temperature (AMT) in China may rise by 2.5 to 4.6 degrees Celsius by the end of this century compared with that of the 1980-1999 period, according to the Second National Assessment Report on Climate Change.

The report, the second of its kind in nearly five years, was released here Tuesday less than two weeks ahead of the Durban Summit on climate change to be held in South Africa.

The climate changes and extreme weather and climate events would have significant influences, largely adverse, on human health, said the report, stressing that rising temperature may cause spread and resurgence of pathogenic communicable diseases, including schistosomiasis, malaria and dengue.

It further predicted that the potential distribution area of schistosomiasis will go northward, reaching North China and even inland areas including some parts of Xinjiang in the northwest by 2050.

The report also highlighted the possible changes in the country's ecosystem, including a large-scale migration of vegetation distribution, expanding grassland areas and variations in the distribution range of animal species.

It particularly noted that, in the late 21st century, the giant panda, Yunnan snub-nose monkey and white-lipped deer will be greatly affected, whose habitats would be fragmented.

In addition, the report said that continuous rise of sea levels would shorten the return period of the extreme water levels of storm surges.

The extreme water levels in the Yangtze River, the Pearl River and the western Bank of north China's Bohai Sea will recur for every five to 20 years instead of 50 years previously, it said.

Meanwhile, the sea level around China is estimated to rise by 80 to 130 mm by 2030, with more rainfall but less snow, according to the report.

The sea level rise is expected to submerge 18,000 square kilometers of coastal lowlands and affect the designing and safety operation of nuclear power plants located in those regions.

The country's agriculture sector would also encounter mixed situations in the first half of this century.

As temperature goes up, the crop cultivation may be expanded northward considerably, it said, but the grain yield may reduce at higher temperature.

It stressed the use of carbon dioxide fertilizer and irrigation in order to ensure the country's food security in the future.

In the latter part of the report, policies and measures were proposed to address those issues.

It also summarized China's efforts in combating climate change, in terms of introducing policies and actions for adapting and mitigating climate changes, raising the soceity's awareness and engaging in more international cooperations.

In conclusion, it called for efforts from the entire Chinese society and enhanced international cooperation to accelerate the country's shift to low carbon development.

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