China is a significant contributor to the global market and unfortunately alongside, high emissions of greenhouse gases have been contributed on a global scale; which plays a vital role in causing global warming, this can ultimately present the severity of the country's environmental actions. Global warming can simply be conveyed through climate changes such as; unexpected precipitation levels, sea level rises, extreme weather occurrences, and also temperature fluctuations. Sea level rise can be caused by melting ice caps, similarly seen in Antarctica, when a hole in the ozone layer was discovered in May 1985, alike, China’s sea levels which have already started rising. When temperature’s escalate, the earth warms up melting the rocks, which form the earth, essentially slowly dissolving the earth away, not to mention an increased rate in evaporation which would cause increased precipitation.
In China’s case smog has been an extreme issue in public health, with masks been worn to protect people from breathing in dangerous chemicals to avoid the forever increasing risk of asthma and respiratory illnesses. This type of pollution is often referred to as ‘particulate matter’, forever increasing in China, perhaps caused by china's cities exceeding the legal air quality limit. Nevertheless, China is a superior trader and exporter of goods and the fact that the economic stronghold of the country can be intervened by the environment, is fascinating to investigate what will become of China in the future. An increase of 2% in annual rainfall, in northern, southern and northwest rainfall/snowfall have decreased, leaving the risk of droughts; however in the west precipitation has been on the rise, this could potentially reach 5% in annual rainfall. Annual temperature may rise by 0.23 degrees and even rise higher than the global average.
The “third national climate change assessment report”, was put together by 550 experts and scientists, establishing China’s current environmental stance. It is believed that; “overall climate change may further intensify the occurrence of floods and droughts”. This will cause a decline in crop production, which will have numerous effects on China’s economy, through the loss of jobs, higher produce prices and a decrease in the value of land. Eventually, leaving people in poverty and lacking essential necessities such as water and food. The lack of goods will deprive foreign markets and damage China’s trading industry. In the northeast of China, warmer weather will become common, extending the growing season; but leaving the burden of more: pesticides and pests. The report responds by claiming, “This will pose even more severe challenges for management of water resources”.
As mentioned previously, sea level rise is a major issue globally, but China is starting to stand out for the wrong reasons. With an increase of 2.9 millimeters a year of seawater, the country is exceeding the global average, leaving China’s coasts at risk. In order to protect the coastline, more money will need to be invested into development plans and coastal defences, depriving the economy of money which could have been placed on trade deals, in order to further enhance China’s future reputation as a superpower. In a space of 30 years, East China sea could near double from a shocking 7.5 cm to 14.5 cm. When 1 cm of sea rises, the coastline will be reversed backwards by nearly 10 meters. Sea level rise, will especially affect China’s fishing industry, which produces the highest figure in the world of 17.4% of seafood caught, accounting to an incredible 13.9 million tonnes. Having a significant effect on the economy China will be exposed to other competitors in the sea industry, on a global scale, not to mention face a loss of jobs and food for the country, as fish prices will increase, due to the increasing difficulty of the job.
However China has started to take action against global warming, by implementing new policies to prevent the severity of effects it could have on the country. Carbon trading is a new policy being implemented in order to reduce carbon emissions and reduce the burning of fossil fuels, especially for the use of electricity. By introducing incentives for buying hybrids, China hopes to reduce the smog and pollution faced on the roads, by reducing CO2 emissions and pulling high polluting cars of the road. Also, stricter regulations will be put forward to clamp down on the industrial burning of coal, providing cleaner air in the sky. Even though nuclear energy is not exactly, ‘renewable’, it produces the lowest amount of carbon for electricity, as a result the country's plans to build 60 nuclear power plants in the next decade. Slowly, the country will improve their environmental position and hopefully one day set an example on a global scale, to be an environmentally friendly country.