Eastern China is in the midst of a two-decade-long cooling trend, according to a new study, which labeled it a continuation of the “warming hiatus” that global temperatures experienced in the early 21st century.
“During the past two decades since 1997, eastern China has experienced a warming hiatus punctuated by significant cooling in minimum temperature (Tmin), particularly during early-mid winter,” researchers with the China Meteorological Administration wrote in their July study.
An incredibly strong El Nino warming event largely ended the 15-year global warming “hiatus” in global average temperatures — and the two-decade hiatus in satellite data warming — but not in eastern China.
“There is no evidence indicating a termination of the recent warming hiatus in eastern China,” researchers found. “The question of when the accelerated warming trend will resume needs to be answered by climate model prediction.”
The study found from 1998 to 2013 “the domain-averaged Tmin exhibited the strongest cooling trend and the number of significant cooling stations peaked.” There was “significant cooling” in minimum temperatures through 2016 in northern China, the Yangtze-Huai River Valley, and southern China.
“This sustained hiatus gave rise to increasingly frequent and severe cold extremes there,” researchers wrote.
“Concerning its prolonged persistency and great cooling rate, the recent warming hiatus over eastern China deviates much from most historical short-term trends during the past five decades and thus could be viewed as an outlier against the prevalent warming context,” researchers stated.
The Chinese report comes amid media fervor over a new study claiming a less than 5 percent chance the Earth will avoid “dangerous” levels of global warming by the end of the century.
“The likely range of global temperature increase is 2.0-4.9 [degrees Celsius] and our median forecast is 3.2 C,” Adrian Raftery, the study’s co-author, told CNN.
“Our model is based on data which already show the effect of existing emission mitigation policies,” Raftery said. “Achieving the goal of less than 1.5 C warming will require carbon intensity to decline much faster than in the recent past.”
CNN warned that warming above 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures would result in “[r]ising seas, mass extinctions, super droughts, increased wildfires, intense hurricanes, decreased crops and fresh water and the melting of the Arctic are expected.”
“The impact on human health would be profound,” CNN reported. Rising temperatures and shifts in weather would lead to reduced air quality, food, and water contamination, more infections carried by mosquitoes and ticks and stress on mental health.”
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