China’s warming is ‘from human cause’

Chinese scientists announce findings that reveal human activity is the cause of global warming in their nation.

The findings, announced by government-funded scientists in the highest-CO2-emitting country on the planet, are seen by some as a positive step toward political engagement with the issue. It takes a lot of data to demonstrate this for a single country, rather than a hemisphere or region. The scientists used maximum and minimum daily and annual temperatures from 2,416 different weather stations across the nation, from 1961 to 2007. They found that CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions from human activity had raised the maximum and minimum temperatures for the hottest day and night of the year by approximately 0.92°C and 1.7°C, respectively. The annual maximum and minimum for the coldest day and night of the year have also increased due to human activity: by 2.83°C and 4.44°C, respectively.

China plans to build some 363 new coal-burning power stations in the near future to keep up with the demand for power. But already droughts and heat waves have reared their heads, and scientists expect this to get worse as the warming continues.