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November 13, 2012

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Shanghai has warm welcome for UN award

SHANGHAI is getting warmer with a temperature increase of 0.87 degrees Celsius per decade in recent years with global climate changes and urbanization, meteorologists said yesterday.

Shanghai is on the fast track for warming as its speed of temperature increases is about three times the average for China, said Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization, who was in Shanghai yesterday.

"This is very interesting to find out how much (increase) is due to urbanization and how much of it is due to the climate changing more frequently," Jarraud said.

The city's 140 years of continuous meteorological observation is one of the longest climate observation records in the world.

Due to its contribution to the world's climate records, the Shanghai Meteorological Observatory was granted the distinction of Centennial Climate Station yesterday by the UN organization, the first in China and one of the few in the world.

"When you talk about climate, it's very important to have good records of what happened in the past and there are very few places such as in Shanghai where you have this continuous records of 140 years," Jarraud said. "So definitely we're in the process of identifying all those places in the globe which have 100 years continuously. The process is not completely finished but there's no doubt that Shanghai will qualify as one of these places."

"Shanghai didn't have 24 million inhabitants 140 years ago. It was much smaller and these series (of continuous of meteorological observation in Shanghai) will allow a better analysis of the urbanization effect," he added.

The Shanghai Meteorological Observatory, the former Zikawei Observatory, was established in 1872 by French Catholic missionaries and has been providing weather service since the December of that year.

The original building of the Zikawei Observatory, near the Xujiahui Cathedral, previously Saint Ignatius Cathedral, still exists as part of the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

The Romanesque architecture had been renovated recently as a meteorological museum and will be open to the public when the work is done.


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