Monday, January 7, 2008

Global Warming Hits China

8 January 2008

There are few more startling embodiments of climate change than the current health of China's largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake, in the pic southeastern province of Jiangxi. As is now customary in discussions involving global warming, the following statistics are liable to alarm.

The surface area of Poyang Lake has shrunk to 50 square kilometers from its peak of more than 3,000 during the summer--it is 1.67% of its size six months ago. Some perspective is needed. A spectacular fluctuation in the lake's area from the summer flood season to the winter dry period has long been commonplace.

However, the Jiangxi hydrological bureau reported that the area of the lake last winter was 300 to 500 square kilometers, up to 10 times larger than this year's figure. The lake's title would seem to require a caveat: China's largest freshwater lake-- in July. More >>>