Monday, March 29, 2010

China’s drought and its worse ecosystem

Drought in

On March 24, 2010, the Ministry of China Civil Affairs said a drought has ravaged southwestern China since last autumn, affecting 61.3 million residents and 5 million hectares of crops in the five China’s southwest provinces Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan, Chongqing, and Guangxi.

The climate change of an area usually is associated with the change of the ecosystem there. To develop the economy, the drought-hit provinces in China have conducted large-scale cultivation on economic plantation, such as natural rubber woods, fresh flowers, rapeseed, sugar cane, tobacco, and tea, and built tens of thousands of hydropower reservoirs on rivers for decades. The over plantation has been excessively “pumping” water in the air and dropping the water tables underground, and the dams on rivers have disordered the natural distribution of the water in the region.

To alleviate the serious drought worst in a century, China has been using various methods including cloud seeding. Yesterday Chinese air force dispatched 17 transport aircrafts to conduct the cloud seeding that resulted in rain sweeping through Yunnan province over the weekend.

Although the rainfall brought by the cloud seeding can mitigate dry conditions and increase the soil moisture on farms for the time being. To solve the drought fundamentally, the protection on the ecosystem is the most priority China should consider and put strength on.