UN report warns of devastating climate change in China

Smoke billows from an unauthorised steel factory in Inner Mongolia, China, on November 4, 2016. Photo: Getty Images

A newly published report by a UN agency has warned that China will be among the countries hardest hit by global warming.

According to a report published by UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), China needs to do more to adapt to mounting climate hazards.

It will need to find solutions to water and food insecurity, poverty and inequality, and more extreme weather events, online magazine Sixth Tone reported.

The report said that China could suffer the world’s biggest economic losses as a result of rising sea levels and the resulting floods.

A study in the report estimates that China’s food security will also be threatened, as a warming climate is expected to affect yields of wheat, maize, rice, and fish.

Luo Yong, professor of earth science at Tsinghua University and a lead author of the report’s Asia chapter, said the report offers a clear look at the dangers humanity faces over the coming two decades as well as by the end of the century.

“Our main takeaway is that it is very important to take immediate action now,” he said.

On the issue of water, the report states that climate change will only exacerbate China’s existing water scarcity. This will affect the livelihoods of farmers and other people.

The report goes on to add that Global warming will also bring more extreme rainfall. According to the report, Asian coasts are projected to see higher sea level rise than the global average.

The researchers warned that Chinese megacities along the coastline, home to much of the country’s population and economic activity, are at high risk for storm surges caused by tropical cyclones of higher intensity.

Furthermore, the report adds that global warming will increase the risk of irreversible loss of terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems. This will affect the survival of many fauna and flora species already under climate pressure. 


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