China News Agency, Beijing, August 9th, Question: Extreme weather occurs frequently, can the earth's "high fever" be controlled?

  ——Interview with Chao Qingchen, Director of the National Climate Center

  China News Agency reporter Chen Su

  This year, extreme weather has occurred frequently around the world.

In March, abnormal heat waves hit India and Pakistan; since June, the continuous high temperature in the United States has put about 90 million people under high temperature warning; in July, the temperature in many European countries broke through historical extremes, and Portugal once experienced a high temperature of 47 ℃.

In China, since the beginning of the flood season, the rainfall in many places in the south has broken historical records, the heat wave in the north has pushed the temperature to above 40 degrees Celsius, and the daily maximum temperature of 245 national weather stations across the country has exceeded the historical extreme value in July.

Affected by the high temperature, wildfires and droughts have occurred frequently in the northern hemisphere, and the largest electricity load in many places has broken historical records.

  What will happen to Earth in 2022?

Why are extreme weather increasing?

Can humans still control climate change?

China News Agency "East and West Questions" interviewed Chao Qingchen, director of the National Climate Center.

The following is a summary of the interview transcript:

China News Service: Since the flood season this year, many places in southern China have been hit by continuous torrential rains, causing severe floods. Recently, the number of torrential rains in the north has also begun to increase.

At the same time, most areas of China continued to have high temperatures this summer, and the highest temperature in many places broke the extreme value.

What are the causes of these extreme weather events?

Has China's extreme weather and climate events increased in recent years?

Chao Qingchen:

Since June, most areas in China have been controlled by warm and high pressure, and downdraft air has prevailed. The weather is mainly sunny and less cloudy. The solar radiation is strong, and it is easy to form continuous high temperature weather.

In addition, under the climate background of global warming, the average temperature increases and the occurrence of high temperature weather is more and more frequent. Global warming will affect the global high temperature weather by indirect means such as changing the atmospheric circulation, ocean and surface state.

On August 8, 2022, in Nanjing, Jiangsu, citizens travel in the sun.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Yang Bo

  Overall, the climate in China this year is rather unusual.

This year's pre-flood season in South China is 16 days earlier than normal, with a long duration, large accumulated precipitation, and strong precipitation extremes.

Since the beginning of the pre-flood season in South China, the daily precipitation of many national meteorological stations in Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi and Qiong four provinces has exceeded the historical record of the month.

From March 1 to July 31, the precipitation in the Pearl River Basin was 86.4 mm higher than the same period of the previous year.

  In recent years, extreme weather and climate events have occurred frequently in China.

In 2021, the average number of high temperature days in China will be 12.02 days, 2.95 days more than the normal average.

Since the beginning of this year (January 1 to July 31, 2022), the national average number of high temperature days is 9.32 days, which is 3.38 days more than the same period in history (5.94 days), which is the most in the same period since 1961.

China News Service: Throughout the world, extreme high temperature weather in the northern hemisphere this summer has occurred frequently, and high temperatures have raged in many European countries and the western United States, and some areas have set new records.

What are the reasons for the frequent occurrence of extreme weather in the world?

What are the characteristics of global climate change?

What impact and harm does global warming have on the global economy and society?

Chao Qingchen:

Global warming is the climate background for the frequent occurrence of high temperature and heat waves in the northern hemisphere, and the abnormal atmospheric circulation is the direct cause of the frequent occurrence of high temperature and heat waves in many places around the world since June.

  The increase of extreme weather and climate events in recent years is closely related to the background of climate warming.

Climate warming will change the global ocean and atmospheric circulation patterns, and further affect the local climate through the interaction of ocean and atmosphere, land and atmosphere.

Climate warming exacerbates the instability of the climate system, making it more likely to lead to extreme weather and climate events.

  In the context of global warming, the frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate events have increased, including extreme high temperatures on land and oceans, heavy precipitation events, droughts and fire weather, etc., causing serious disruption to social production and living order, and causing a large number of people Casualties and property damage.

According to the latest assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), about 10% of the global population is affected by increased extreme precipitation.

Since the 1950s, about 4 billion people worldwide have experienced severe water stress for at least one month each year.

Droughts, floods and marine heatwaves have reduced food supplies and increased food prices, threatening the food security, nutrition and livelihoods of millions of people.

In addition, global warming can lead to economic inequality between countries, increasing the risk of armed conflict and involuntary population migration.

In August 2020, multiple wildfires burned on the land of the San Francisco Bay Area in California, USA. The fire composed of 22 fires burned at least 4,000 hectares of land, forcing more than 22,000 people to evacuate.

The picture shows a person involved in the firefighting using a walkie-talkie to communicate with his companions.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Liu Guanguan

  Global warming has also led to an increase in extreme events.

Disaster losses caused by extreme events are also increasing. In the past 50 years, an extreme event has occurred on average every day in the world, causing an average of 115 deaths and a loss of 202 million US dollars per day.

China News Service: Recently, UN Secretary-General Guterres issued a warning at the Petersburg Climate Dialogue, "Act together or commit suicide together."

Is the current global climate change uncontrollable?

Chao Qingchen:

The latest IPCC assessment report does point out that human activities have caused unprecedented changes in the climate system. The 50 years since 1970 have been the warmest 50 years in the past 2000 years; from 1901 to 2018, the global average Sea level has risen by 0.2 meters, faster than in any century in the past 3,000 years; global carbon dioxide concentration reached 410 ppm in 2019, the highest in the past 2 million years; the frequency of extreme climate events is also increasing, in the past 50 years The number of extreme weather disasters has increased fivefold and losses have increased sevenfold.

Some scientists predict that by 2100, more than half of the coastal areas may experience extreme sea level events once in a century.

  These data show that the global climate system has undergone unprecedented changes under the influence of human activities.

If human beings do not take immediate action, according to the current global greenhouse gas emissions, climate model calculations show that by the end of this century, compared with pre-industrialization, the global warming rate will be between 2.2-3.5 °C, the intensity of extreme events, the occurrence of The probability, duration, and resulting disasters will all increase significantly, with many irreversible consequences.

Therefore, to take "immediate" action to combat climate change, if human beings control it, the global warming will be less.

In July 2020, New York ushered in hot weather, and a teenager skated in Corona Park.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Liao Pan

China News Service: What are the main challenges facing the world in addressing climate change?

How should humans respond to climate change?

What kind of efforts has China made in this regard?

Chao Qingchen: At

present, there are still challenges in implementing global policies and measures to address climate change into national-level planning. Different countries have different development stages and national conditions, and face different threats from climate change. Therefore, global climate actions and policies , planning, etc. will often encounter great challenges when they are implemented in different countries.

In addition, developing countries need a lot of capital, technology, and policy support to deal with climate change. Although some progress has been made in these areas with the conclusion of international agreements such as the Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Agreement, it is far from reality. The demand is still quite different.

  Mitigation and adaptation are two major strategies for addressing climate change, and they complement each other and are indispensable.

Mitigation is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the adjustment of energy, industry, transportation and other economic systems and natural ecosystems over a long period of time.

Adaptation is to reduce the adverse effects of climate change on socio-economic development and ecosystems by adjusting natural and human systems to climate changes that have occurred and are expected to occur, and make full use of certain opportunities brought about by climate change .

  At present, there is a tendency to focus more on mitigation and less on adaptation in the world.

China has consistently adhered to both mitigation and adaptation, and implemented a national strategy to actively address climate change.

In response to mitigation, China has put forward the "dual carbon" goal, actively promoted industrial restructuring, and optimized energy structure, and achieved remarkable results in carbon emission reduction.

In 2020, China's carbon emission intensity will drop by 18.8% compared with 2015 and 48.4% compared with 2005, exceeding the 40%-45% reduction target promised to the international community, and promoting green and low-carbon development, new energy vehicle production and The sales scale ranks first in the world, and the manufacturing of wind power and photovoltaic power generation equipment has formed the most complete industrial chain in the world.

For adaptation, in June this year, China issued the National Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation 2035, which has become an important document for China to create a "global model" for climate change adaptation policy actions.

In April 2022, aerial photography of photovoltaic modules on the roof of Hangzhou West Railway Station.

The Hangzhou West Railway Station photovoltaic power generation project covers an area of ​​15,000 square meters. After completion, it is estimated that the average annual power generation will reach 2.31 million kWh, which will save more than 830 tons of standard coal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2,300 tons each year.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Wang Gang

  The goal of carbon neutrality is not something that can be achieved easily, neither waiting nor rushing. It is necessary to respect objective laws, plan scientifically, turn pressure into motivation, be based on the present, solve specific problems one step at a time, and steadily advance the implementation of the goal.


Interviewee Profile:

  Chao Qingchen, Director of the National Climate Center, Secretary of the Party Committee, Researcher, Doctor of Science.

Co-chairman of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Research Group, member of the Steering Committee; chairman of the Committee on Climate Change and Low-Carbon Economy of the Chinese Meteorological Society, and vice-chairman of the Committee on Meteorological Economics of the Chinese Meteorological Society.

2020-2035 Deputy Head of the National Medium- and Long-Term Science and Technology Development Plan Strategic Research on Climate Change in the Environmental Field.

Leading expert in the Science Volume of the Fourth China National Climate Change Assessment Report.

As a member of the Chinese delegation, he has participated in the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for a long time.

   His research fields are climate system analysis and interaction, climate risk management and climate change policy. He presided over the key research and development programs of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Science and Technology Support Program, the China Clean Development Fund, the National and Local Development and Reform Commissions, the China Meteorological Administration, and international cooperation. More than ten projects.

He has published more than 60 papers and co-authored 9 books.