China Warms Above Global Average, Climate Change Blue Book Warns

Episodes of extreme heat in China are on the rise, which is above the global average with the intensity of typhoons hitting the country, according to a blue book on the country’s climate change. The report warned that between 1961 and 2020 there is a gradual increase in extremely heavy precipitation and that episodes of extreme heat have increased significantly in the country since the mid-1990s, the state newspaper Global Times reported.

Comprehensive climate observations and several key indicators show that global warming is continuing and the risk of experiencing extreme weather and climate events in China is increasing, he said. The Blue Book provides the latest climate change monitoring information in China and around the world, including data on the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, terrestrial biosphere, and determinants of climate change.

According to the Blue Book, China is a sensitive and important area impacted by global climate change with a temperature rise significantly above the global average during the same period. In 2020, sea level in China’s coastal areas was 73 mm above the 1993-2011 average, the third highest level since 1980.

The continued rise in summer sea temperatures has caused severe coral bleaching in several islands in the disputed South China Sea, according to the report. The Blue Book points out that China’s climate risk index from 1961 to 2020 shows an increasing trend, and in 2020 the number was 10.8, the third highest value in that period.

It also shows that the average intensity of typhoons landing in China has increased since the late 1990s. In addition, between 1961 and 2020, the average number of dust days in northern China registered a significant drop. China is hit by nine typhoons this year, causing widespread devastation.

As for China’s climate situation this year, Wang Zhihua, spokesperson for the Emergency Disaster Reduction and Civil Service Department of CMA noted that the average temperature and rainfall in China in July of this years were higher than in previous years and it is expected that climatic conditions will remain active in August. According to Wang, several tropical cyclones could significantly affect coastal areas in southern and southeastern China in August, and northern areas could face strong convections, such as wind and hail. Heavy rains are also expected across the country, he said.

Jia Xiaolong, deputy director of the National Climate Center, highlighted concerns about extreme weather conditions around the world, including recent torrential rains in central China’s Henan Province. He noted that extreme weather events have occurred around the world this summer, including high temperatures in North America and flooding in Europe, which are direct manifestations of the abnormal global atmospheric circulation.

Global warming intensifies the instability of the climate system, which is an important climatic factor for the frequency of extreme weather and climate events, Jia said.

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