Future of China’s Agriculture in Danger

by Jordan Aronowitz

Popularly characterized as one of the most industrial countries in the world, China has been blamed for much of the increase in carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. With the increase in average overall temperature, the prevalence of droughts has increased, adversely affecting production agriculture production and water supply. When the rain finally does arrive, it arrives with monsoon-like conditions, creating too much runoff, as the dry land can’t contain the rain. Many independent projects have traveled to China in order to inform the population about climate change. Urban areas need to become greener, while rural areas need to be aware of dangers they face. The negative trends in China’s agriculture and water resources can be corrected, but without proper support from the population and the rest of the world they will not be successful.

Warming trends indicate that average winter temperatures have increased by 0.04°C per year while average summer temperatures have increased by 0.01°C per year, with future trends indicating a further increase of 1-5°C over the next few decades. Rain trends have remained nearly constant nationwide, but regions in drier northeast China are receiving less rainfall during summer and autumn, while regions in wetter southern China are receiving more.

China always seems to take the blame for overall global changes such as increases in temperature, increases in sea level, and decreases in the amount of ice on the planet. Even if the accusations are true, and China has been rightfully charged for causing these vicissitudes, the press, western and eastern, does a poor job reporting on stories that show devastating events, such as frequent floods, destroying rural China. With this proof, the writers determined that China’s agriculture and water supply are in danger, and that their own over-industrialization may be the cause. The coming changes in agriculture may be the most drastic.

Shilong, P., Ciais, P., Huang, Y., et al. (2010). The impacts of climate change on water resources and agriculture in China. Nature, 467, 43-51. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v467/n7311/pdf/nature09364.pdf

slpiao@pku.edu.cn

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