BEIJING, June 30 (Xinhua) -- The nation is bracing for a higher risk of
more extreme weather as a trend toward increasing weather-related disasters has
been recorded since the 1990s, top weather experts have said.
"Extreme weather will be more frequent in the future due to the instability
of the atmosphere, and global warming might be the indirect cause," He Lifu, the
top weather forecaster at the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), was
cited by Tuesday's China Daily as saying.
The CMA responded to 16 emergencies last year to address weather-related
disasters, the most since 1949.
Statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs suggest extreme weather
caused an annual economic loss of over 176.2 billion yuan (25 billion U.S.
dollars) on average in the 1990s. But the figure rose to an annual average of
244 billion yuan between 2004 and last year.
The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters has warned in a
statement that "drought has become more frequent, causing more crop failures in
the country" since the 1990s.
Zhang Jiatuan, director of the drought relief division at the State Flood
Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, said grain loss caused by drought has
averaged 37.28 million tonnes each year since 2000, almost twice that for the