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Concern at temperaturerise in Qaidam Basin

TEMPERATURES in northwest China's Qaidam Basin are rising faster than the rest of the country as a result of climate change, Chinese meteorologists said yesterday.

The rapid rise in temperatures could increase the long-term frequency of droughts and farming pests in the basin to the northeast of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, they warned.

"The average temperature in the basin has increased at a rate of 0.44 degrees Celsius every 10 years in the past four decades, much faster than the country's average of 0.05 to 0.08 degrees every 10 years," said Gouri Dorje, deputy head of the Meteorological Bureau of Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province.

He said the bureau studied climate data from the basin from 1961 to 2008, which also showed that the annual rainfall of the basin had increased significantly, expanding lake sizes and raising river levels.

Dorje warned the rising temperatures could cause more climate-driven disasters such as droughts and pests in the grassland region in the long term.


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