China Enters the Climate Change World

by Jason Yi

In early 2017, journalist Edward Wong wrote an article that analyzed China’s stance on climate change. Earlier, Donald J. Trump made the statement that climate change is a “hoax” produced by China and expressed his desire to leave the global Paris Agreement which takes the initiative in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Wong mentions that in previous years under president Obama’s term, America pressured China to supply accurate annual coal consumption data. However, with Trump’s desire to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, Wong believes that China will quickly lose its current aspiration to provide such accurate information. In the past, China has only submitted two coal consumption estimates for the years 1994 and 2005 while other nations have submitted three or more. Furthermore, on the previous census, China’s coal powered energy use was 12–14% higher than the last estimate and in these censuses, it was evident that there existed consistent differences between provincial and national levels. Continue reading

Carcinogenic effects of Polluted Water in China

 

by Natalie Creekmur

Drinking water is susceptible to pollution by trace metals via both anthropogenic and natural processes. Heavy metals such as Cr, Mn, and Cu pose major health risks. Upon ingestion, trace metals are deposited in fatty tissues and in the circulatory system, and are not biodegradable. They can cause a variety of health issues including cancer, neurological disorders, and adverse affects to the endocrine system. Continue reading

Carcinogenic Effects of Polluted Water in China

by Natalie Creekmur

Drinking water is susceptible to pollution by trace metals via both anthropogenic and natural processes. Heavy metals such as Cr, Mn, and Cu pose major health risks. Upon ingestion, trace metals are deposited in fatty tissues and in the circulatory system, and are not biodegradable. They can cause a variety of health issues including cancer, neurological disorders, and adverse affects to the endocrine system. Continue reading

China’s Sea Level Change

by Xiaoshi Zhu

As climate change becomes more dramatic in recent years, the rising sea level has begun to threaten more countries in the world. Among these regions, China has the largest population that will be affected by the likely inundation—a staggering 85 million people. In his article China’s Sea Change published in December 2015 on The Globe and Mail, Nathan VanderKlippe talks about how serious the problem has become and the actions that the Chinese government has taken to improve the bad situation. Continue reading

Who Supports Planting Urban Trees in Hangzhou?

by Caitlin Suh

How should advocates of green infrastructure convince a population to support its implementation, particularly the planting of urban trees? In a study by researchers Jason A. Byrne et al. (2015), the relationship between residents of Hangzhou, China’s knowledge of climate change, familiarity and usage of green spaces, socio-demographic characteristics; and their attitude towards the implementation of green infrastructure are correlated. Through these findings, the researchers proposed methods through which politicians and others could advocate the building of these green infrastructures. Continue reading

Projected Delays in Reducing Waterborne and Water-Related Infectious Diseases in China Under Climate Change

by Allison Hu

In 2010, infectious disease due to unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WSH) were estimated to be responsible for 337,000 deaths globally and the loss of over 21 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) (Hodges et al. 2014). These WSH-attributable diseases include soil-transmitted helminth infections, schistosomiasis, diarrhoeal diseases, and vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and Japanese encephalitis. In China, the WSH-attributable disease burden is concentrated in low-income areas and in young children. Cases not leading to morbidity and mortality, these diseases can causes malnutrition, stunting, impaired school performance, immunodeficiency, and impaired cognitive functioning which can hinder economic growth and development at a population level (Hodges et al.). Furthermore, there are studies associating certain diseases with key environmental variables that are responsive to changes in climate, such as temperature, precipitation, and relative humidity. Temperatures changes can influence the replication rate and survival of pathogens and vectors in the environment and impact transmission. Heavy precipitation can overwhelm existing water and sanitation systems, therefore mobilizing pathogens, while drought conditions can increase pathogen exposure by limiting the water available for hygiene and forcing populations to resort to the use of contaminated water supplies. Continue reading

Soy Sauce or Water? China’s Soil Contamination and Water Supply

by Phoebe Shum

For many Americans, the term “local” food usually coincides with sustainability, farmer’s markets, and everything environmental. This is not the case in modern day China. In fact, it is the very opposite. He-Guangwei, investigative reporter for The Times Weekly, explains that China’s rapid modernisation has brought about severe stress on the agricultural soil quality. The contamination in soil has brought about a myriad of other problems such as water quality degradation due to heavy metal pollution and cancer-caused deaths. In particular, Lake Tai, the third largest freshwater lake in China that supplies drinking water to more than 30 million people, has become so polluted as a result of factory run-off. The water has even been described to resemble soy sauce. It’s devastating to see that the once crystal-clear waters of Lake Tai now have the ability to turn people’s sweat into a color resembling mud. Farmers around the Lake Tai area refuse to eat the very crops they grow, fully aware that their produce is planted in cadmium, lead and mercury infused soil. The government remains unresponsive to the scale of the issue, wary of attracting negative media and international attention. Continue reading