Warmer winter on its way for China + drought

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Dec 31, 2011

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Flag of China  , Sichuan,
Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Over the last few years I've noticed that the normal rainy season in south-west China has become less severe, and now scientists are saying that the country is due for more periods of prolonged drought. The result will be the 23rd warm winter in a row.

But the forecast is patchy, with predictions that in the middle of China - the middle reaches of the Yangtze - they could have extreme falls in temperatures - a little like this year when there were snowstorms.

Xiong Wei, an expert on the correlation between climate change and agriculture with the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, told China Daily Tuesday that prolonged periods of warm weather and drought are clear signs of climate change, and will have a huge impact on the country's agricultural output.

"Warm winters create an environment in which plant diseases and pests thrive, and these pose a serious threat to crops," he said.

Some areas of the country, including the Northeast, the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, and south of the Yangtze could experience droughts throughout the whole of the winter and into next spring, the report said.

Droughts in the south will have a huge impact on the nation's agricultural output, Xiong said.

"I am very concerned the dry weather will seriously affect grain yields," he said.
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