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China's North to See A "Thirsty" Decade, Expert

The drought in China's arid north will remain severe as meteorologists predict the area will see less precipitation in the next 10 years.

"Even though some areas in the north will have more rainfall in certain years, most northern areas should have less expectation that the climate will help relieve the drought," said Zhang Cunjie, a meteorologist from the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) at an international symposium, which opened in Lanzhou, capital of northern Gansu Province on Monday.

Zhang's prediction is based on the conclusion of a research program on the precipitation changes in northeastern Asia in the last century, which was jointly launched by CMAs Institute of Arid Meteorology and the Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Science since 2000.

"Based on the preliminary result of the research program, we made a similar forecast for the precipitation from 2001 to 2004 in seven major parts of China's northern areas and the average rate of accuracy is around 85 percent," said Zhang.

The research also found the precipitation in the seven parts, such as the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the eastern Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, featurea different periodic variation of three years, one decade and three decades.

"So, despite a large-scale arid climate in the north, some areas, for example, the northwestern Shaanxi Province, might see more rainfall from 2006 to 2015 than the last decade," said Zhang.

Arid and semiarid regions mainly lie in the north of China and account for 47 percent of the country's land areas. Due to the harsh climate, the regions are often haunted by droughts.

Aiming to find appropriate counter measures to the arid climate, China is holding the international symposium on arid climate changes and sustainable development, which has attracted more than200 experts from home and abroad. During the three-day meeting, experts will also discuss the impact of climate change on the environment, the rational use of climate and water resources in arid regions and drought mitigation and engineering technology.



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