The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Weekly Watch
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Cover Story Series> Previous
UPDATED: February 5, 2010 NO. 6 FEBRUARY 11, 2010
A Cold Alarm

Since the end of 2009, north China has been repeatedly struck by arctic-like blasts of cold weather. As temperatures have plummeted to historic lows, they have inflicted considerable suffering as well.

The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, in the remote northwestern frontier, for example, has been hard hit by more continuous heavy snowfalls than at any time in six decades, seriously disrupting the lives of some 1.3 million residents. To the east, both the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea iced up extensively in mid-January, with about 45 percent of the Bohai Sea waters having frozen to an average 30 cm in thickness—a phenomenon not seen for 40 years.

But China has not been the only victim. In much of the Northern Hemisphere, unusually cold temperatures have been reported across Northeast Asia, Western and Northern Europe and North America, resulting in hundreds of injuries and even deaths.

This abnormally cold weather also contradicts some of the prevailing wisdom behind global warming, widely cited as a direct outcome of atmospheric destruction. Global warming stems from environmental pollution coupled with the effects of so-called greenhouse gases and the footprints of carbon emissions.

It has aroused heated debates among scientists and the public as to how the Earth will change as a result of climate change. Some experts have said this year's cold temperatures will, as opposed to global warming, be symptomatic of a trend of worldwide cooling in the years to come.

Will the world see a reversal of climate change, contrary to what we all have keenly felt and believed before? While there can be no guarantees to this outcome, many scientists hold that the current round of bitter cold is only an interlude between an initial global warming and even greater acceleration in the warming up of our planet.

Given scientific studies over the past century, the scientific community has pointed out that global warming is an irreversible trend that will, eventually, lead to breaking up the global ecological system. This would further jeopardize ecological plant and animal life—and indeed, possibly the human race as well.

It is generally accepted that the world is faced with abnormal changes in climate today. There is ample evidence—the melting ice cap in the polar region, rising sea levels and the frequent occurrence of various natural calamities are all associated with these transformations. In the Southern Hemisphere, for instance, torrential downpours, floods and mud avalanches have wreaked havoc in Australia, Brazil and Kenya, while the cold waves have created chaos on nations to the north of the Equator.

It goes without saying that industrial activity and human consumption are strongly related to those abnormal climate changes, as is the intensity of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result. Such pollution has skyrocketed ever since the era of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.

In this connection, every nation—and every one of us—would be wise to conserve energy, reduce pollution and, thus, lead a low-carbon lifestyle. It is in this way that each of us can slow climate change while giving the planet we live on hope for the future.

Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved