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. Yangtze Flood Alert As Tibetan Glaciers Melt

Heavy floods could be potentially disastrous as populous cities such as Nanjing, Wuhan and Chongqing are situated along the river, according to the paper. A rising Yangtze could also put the enormous dam across the river in the Three Gorges area to the test.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) May 24, 2007
Melting Tibetan glaciers could cause the worst flooding on the Yangtze since 1998, when more than 3,000 people were killed as China's longest river overflowed, state media said Thursday. "Meteorological and hydrological features in the Yangtze River valley this year are similar to those in 1998," said Cai Qihua, deputy chief of the Yangtze River Flood Control Headquarters, according to the China Daily.

"We should be vigilant for a comparatively big flood on the Yangtze," she was quoted as saying.

Vast amounts of snow have melted on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, where the Yangtze originates, the paper said, attributing the unusually warm winter to El Nino, the abnormal warming of surface ocean waters in the eastern Pacific.

Some Chinese officials have also previously linked this year's high winter temperatures to man-made global warming.

The United Nations' top panel on climate change warned in a landmark report in April that the Himalayan glaciers were under grave threat from global warming.

The China Meteorological Administration has forecast heavy rainfall and typhoons this summer, mainly in the southern part of the country, especially affecting the lower reaches of the Yangtze, the China Daily said.

Heavy floods could be potentially disastrous as populous cities such as Nanjing, Wuhan and Chongqing are situated along the river, according to the paper.

A rising Yangtze could also put the enormous dam across the river in the Three Gorges area to the test, the paper quoted Cai as saying.

Altogether 28,000 people still live in areas near the dam's reservoir that could be flooded if the water storage level hits the maximum of 175 metres (580 feet), Cai said, urging local governments to evacuate them in time.

State media earlier this month warned that China this year faced its greatest threat in a decade from typhoons, floods, droughts and other extreme weather caused by climate change.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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US Clash With G8 Partners Looms Over Climate Issues
Paris (AFP) May 27, 2007
The prospect looms of a major clash between the United States and its G8 partners over global warming, with Washington's view threatening to block agreement at next month's summit of the leading industrial nations. German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel Saturday criticised the US climate policy in a newspaper interview, saying it "was going to be difficult to achieve success" at the June 6-8 session in Heiligendamm hosted by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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