Chinese Climate Change Report Says Environmental Future "Grim"

Tom Thai/CC BY 2.0

While you were cheering the Obama administration's decision to halt (for now at least) the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline—which pre-eminent climate scientist Dr James Hansen has called "game over" for the climate if it gets built—you may have missed that China has just made public its latest report on how our changing climate will damage the nation.

In short: "China faces grim ecological and environmental conditions under the impact of continued global warming." (Reuters)

In more detail, but still summary: The report says that China's greenhouse gas emissions are expected to start falling post-2030, and more severely post-2050 (which previous reports have shown as well).

Grain outputoverall the effect will be negative, the report notes.

As far as water is concerned, the report says:

Climate change will lead to severe imbalances in China's water resources within each year and across the years. In most areas, precipitation will be increasingly concentrated in the summer and autumn rainy seasons, and floods and droughts will become increasingly frequent.

And on glaciers:

Since the 1950s, over 82 percent of glaciers have been in a state of retreat, and the pace has accelerated since the 1990s.

On sea level rise, the report notes that in the past three decades Shanghai has seen 11.5cm of sea level rise, with another 10-15cm likely in the next three decades.

torbakhopper/CC BY 2.0

For those following the predicted impact of climate change in the coming decades, frankly none of this should come as much of a surprise. Indeed, TreeHugger has multiple posts on various aspects of the contents of this report. The thing that's worth noting here, that stands out to me here in the US, is again the contrast in the attitude of the Chinese government on climate compared to that here. Similar climate impacts will be felt in North America, and have been just as well documented, yet at the federal level, outside of select agencies, urgency about climate or even mentioning it simply isn't there, isn't happening. The head in the sand approach to climate here largely continues, while the rest of the world heads in another direction.

Tags: China | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects