Why cli­mate talk should be a daily thing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - PAGE TWO -

There was a time when north­ern China was largely as­so­ci­ated with cold weather — win­ters were long and dreaded, and sum­mers were brief and bear­able.

Heat and hu­mid­ity were is­sues that res­i­dents of the coun­try’s south­ern and coastal ar­eas had to deal with, not peo­ple liv­ing in Beijing, for in­stance.

But every pass­ing sum­mer in the cap­i­tal has felt warmer than the pre­vi­ous in re­cent years.

Un­til last week’s rain in Beijing and a sud­den tem­per­a­ture drop in Hei­longjiang prov­ince, this sum­mer has been hot in the north.

Beijing, Tian­jin, He­bei prov­ince and the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­tonomous re­gion wit­nessed day­time tem­per­a­tures of higher than 35 C in May. The prov­inces of Jilin and Liaon­ing in the north-

This Day, That Year

Item­fromAug1,1987,in Chi­naDaily:ABri­tish­doc­tor tri­es­cup­ping­o­na­p­a­tien­tat theShang­haiIn­ter­na­tional Acupunc­tureTrain­ingCen­ter.Sev­er­al­for­eign­doc­tors areat­tend­ing­th­ethree­mon­th­train­ing­course.

About3,700peo­ple­from 60coun­trieshave­mas­tered tra­di­tion­alChi­nesemedicine so­far.

Many for­eign­ers are now pur­su­ing stud­ies in tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine, one of the old­est ther­a­pies in the world. east ex­pe­ri­enced sim­i­lar days that month. In the north­west, the city of Tur­pan, Xin­jiang Uygur au­tonomous re­gion, recorded con­sis­tently hot weather in June.

Heat waves swept other parts of China last month as well.

Shang­hai is­sued an or­ange alert as tem­per­a­tures rose to 40 C. Pho­tos in the papers of July 18 showed an em­ployee at a Chongqing zoo plac­ing large ice cubes be­side a gi­ant panda to cool the place. A friend who re­cently vis­ited the Chengdu sanc­tu­ary in Sichuan prov­ince said some of the pan­das there were be­ing kept in air-con­di­tioned en­clo­sures.

In 2013, the Chi­nese sum­mer was sym­bol­ized by the im­age of a boy try­ing to “cook” an egg and some shrimp in a pan over a man­hole cover in Ji­nan, Shan­dong prov­ince. That year me­dia re­ported many heatre­lated deaths in China.

As the Earth’s tem­per­a­ture rises on land and wa­ter, peo-

TCM is gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity world­wide be­cause of its unique meth­ods of treat­ing pa­tients, such as her­bal medicine, acupunc­ture and mas­sage. More than 100 coun­tries have set up TCM in­sti­tutes, with the United States and Ja­pan in­vest­ing heav­ily in re­lated re­search.

In June, a TCM cen­ter was es­tab­lished at Sem­mel­weis Univer­sity in Bu­da­pest, Hun­gary’s old­est med­i­cal school.

TCM com­pa­nies are also eye­ing the global mar­ket for fur­ther growth. ple will need to pay more at­ten­tion in their daily lives to cli­mate change, or global warm­ing as it is com­monly called. It af­fects the over­all bal­ance of en­ergy in na­ture by al­ter­ing sur­face and sea tem­per­a­tures, pre­cip­i­ta­tion, and at­mo­spheric and oceanic cir­cu­la­tions on mas­sive time scales.

Both man-made and nat­u­ral rea­sons are be­hind cli­mate change. Our role has been sig­nif­i­cant since the In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion. Green­house gases — emit­ted from cars and house­hold ap­pli­ances (not just fac­to­ries) — slow the process by which the planet can re­flect a part of the sun’s ab­sorbed heat back to space.

To write a ground re­port on the fall­out from cli­mate change, I un­der­took a trek to the Mingy­ong glacier in June. Perched at more than 3,000 me­ters above sea level in South­west China’s Yun­nan prov­ince, it is con­sid­ered to be the low­est-ly­ing of the coun­try’s more than 48,000 glaciers.

In the next five years, Beijing Ton­grentang Group plans to in­crease in­vest­ment abroad and open at least 200 over­seas branches.

As of June, the com­pany had set up 115 re­tail stores and clin­ics in 25 coun­tries and re­gions, and treated more than 30 mil­lion pa­tients.

The State Coun­cil, China’s Cab­i­net, is­sued a guide­line in Fe­bru­ary on de­vel­op­ing

An ex­pert from Yun­nan Univer­sity said the glacier had re­ceded by some 300 me­ters and sim­i­larly thinned be­tween 1975 and 2009.

Other sci­en­tists in Beijing told me many glaciers in China and “high-moun­tain Asia” are melt­ing, and the sit­u­a­tion could lead to a short­age of wa­ter for ir­ri­ga­tion and drink­ing later.

Are th­ese glaciers sen­si­tive to cli­mate change? Yes, they said, like glaciers else­where.

Glob­ally, cli­mate change could make coun­tries like the Mal­dives sink.

The av­er­age an­nual global tem­per­a­ture had risen by 0.99 C by last year.

Six­teen of the 17 warm­est years in a 136-year record have oc­curred since 2001, ac­cord­ing to the NASA web­site.

Whether hu­man-in­duced or through nat­u­ral causes, cli­mate change is real and here. Adding car­bon foot­prints is not the way for­ward.

Con­tact the writer at sa­tarupa@chi­nadaily.com.cn TCM dur­ing the 2016-30 pe­riod, and in­ten­si­fied ef­forts to ex­pand it out­side the coun­try.

LI SANXIAN / FOR CHINA DAILY

Vis­i­tors to a show at Beijing’s To­day Art Mu­seum learn how vir­tual re­al­ity and in­ter­ac­tive de­signs are help­ing artists.

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