CAE in Media


Observatories to track gas emissions

  • Published: Jun 27, 2022
  • Source: ChinaDaily
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New bases to monitor greenhouse gases across country's major climatic zones

By 2025, China plans to build eight more national atmosphere baseline observatories that will cover the country's major climatic zones to measure greenhouse gases, ozone and other factors that affect air quality.

The China Meteorological Administration said that the facilities will help with efforts to adapt to climate change.

The observatories will be located in regions around or in the Bohai Sea, the Yellow and Huaihe Rivers, in Sichuan province, Xilin Gol League in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, Dunhuang in Gansu province and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the administration said.

These regions cover major climatic systems covering the sea, basins, grassland, desert and plateaus.

The observatories will monitor dozens of elements including greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, as well as ozone, aerosols and solar radiation. The aim is to provide a set of measurements at a given location and over a period of time that are statistically representative of typical atmospheric conditions.

"The job of site selection is demanding. Sites are usually located far away from human activity and pollution sources so that the atmosphere there can be interpreted as it is," the administration said.

Zhang Xiaoye, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said that an accurate measurement of greenhouse gases being emitted is needed to formulate emission reduction plans and assess their efficiency.

"The constantly increasing greenhouse gas in the air shows that human activity still exerts an impact. There is a long way to go in environmental protection, both for China and the international community," he said.

Currently, China has seven such observatories in the provinces of Qinghai, Zhejiang, Heilongjiang, Hubei and Yunnan, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Beijing. In addition, a new observatory is under construction and will be completed soon in Guangdong province, the administration said.

The distribution allows the monitoring of major climate types in the country, including the Yangtze River region and the Northeast China forest belt.

The observatory on Mount Waliguan in Qinghai province, located on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, takes part in the World Meteorological Organization's Global Atmosphere Watch program, along with 30 other participants. The program coordinates observations and concludes analyses of greenhouse gases based on reports from participating countries, including China, every year.