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Cities Along East Coast of China

23.6N 120.9E

June 30th, 2013 Category: Snapshots VIIRSSuomi-NPP

China – June 29th, 2013

The cities of Shanghai and Hangzhou (above) and Hong Kong (lower left) stand out along the shoreline of China, as do populated areas along the west coast of the island of Taiwan. Shanghai is China’s most populous city, situated on the eastern coast of the country, a port on the estuary of the Yangtze River.

Hong Kong is a former British dependency on the southeastern coast of China. The area comprises Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon peninsula, and the New Territories, additional areas of the mainland. Hong Kong has become one of the world’s major financial and manufacturing centers.

Climate Change’s Effect on Glaciers Around Lake Issyk Kul, Kazakhstan

40.6N 79.6E

June 22nd, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Deserts, Lakes VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Kazakhstan and China – June 21st, 2013

In the last 15 years, all of the 22 glaciers around Lake Issyk Kul (center, between Lake Balqash and the Taklamakan Desert), in Kazakhstan, have retreated. There are a number of reasons for the degradation of glaciation in Issyk Kul, but the increase in surface pollution and climate change are the main ones.

Both contribute to more intense melting and therefore degrade the mass balance of the glacier. The average yearly temperature in the glaciation zone has risen by 0.2ºC; summers are warmer by 0.6ºC, evidenced not only by melting rates but by a longer ablation period. This continued warming trend will accelerate glacial collapse and, most important, lead to a change in the water volume in the rivers the glaciers help to feed (click here for more information).

Climate Change Issues for Densely Populated Hong Kong

20.7N 112.3E

June 20th, 2013 Category: Climate Change VIIRSSuomi-NPP

China – June 19th, 2013

Hong Kong, visible as a bright white area on the right side of this image, is one of the most densely populated places in the world. The average
population density as at mid-2007 stood at 6,410 persons per square kilometre.

Climate change will mean that Hong Kong will experience a warmer climate, at times with significantly more rainfall, but will also face the risk of seasonal water shortages. Hong Kong will also experience a significant increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, tidal surges, typhoons and very heavy rainfall. Sea levels will continue to rise for decades.

The impacts of these changes on Hong Kong will be increased risks of flooding, droughts and dangerously hot weather. There will also be secondary and indirect impacts, including an increased risk of infrastructure damage, ground instability and landslides, and further increases in dangerously poor air quality periods. This will all impact on human health and quality of life and pose significant risks for the economy of Hong Kong (click here for more information).

Haze Over Eastern China

39.0N 116.4E

June 12th, 2013 Category: Clouds MODISAqua

China – June 12th, 2013

Here, haze can be seen over the eastern part of China, near the Bohai Sea. China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide (pumping out some 10 gigatons of carbon dioxide in 2011), and has vowed to reduce such emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent of the country’s 2005 levels by 2020.

However, scientists have suggested that current efforts to cut harmful greenhouse gases fall short because of the way they set targets for the highest polluting areas. China’s lesser-developed heartland is actually responsible for 80 percent of carbon dioxide emissions related to goods consumed along the wealthier coast.

Lake Balkhash and Climate Change’s Effects on Lakes in Central Asia – June 11th, 2013

42.8N 81.3E

June 11th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Deserts, Image of the day, Lakes VIIRSSuomi-NPP

Kazakhstan and China – June 10th, 2013

Lakes in arid regions of Central Asia, such as Lake Balkhash, in Kazakhstan (upper left), northwest of China’s Taklamakan Desert (below), act as essential components of regional water cycles, providing sparse but valuable water resource for the fragile ecological environments and human lives.

Lakes in Central Asia are sensitive to climate change and human activities, and great changes have been found since 1960s. Mapping and monitoring these inland lakes can improve our understanding of mechanism of lake dynamics and climatic impacts. Satellite altimetry provides an efficient tool of continuously measuring lake levels in these poorly surveyed remote areas.

Scientists have shown that alpine lakes are increasing greatly in lake levels during 2003-2009 due to climate change, while open lakes with dams and plain endorheic lakes decrease dramatically in water levels due to human activities, which reveals the overexploitation of water resource in Central Asia (click here for more information).

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