China, becoming a giant desert, harms itself by opposing global warming agreements

Today’s news offers yet another example of how China harmed its own interests by killing Copenhagen:

China’s capital city was shrouded in a cloud or orange dust from a massive sandstorm that affected an area of 312,000 square miles. Residents and visitors to Beijing were forced to wear masks and glasses in an attempt to keep the dust at bay.

The nation’s weather forecasting service gave the air quality rating of ‘5’ – its worst possible rating. The service was urging residents to stay inside and avoid the unhealthy air.

Flights at Beijing’s international airport were delayed and visitors to Tiananmen Square and other popular locations were greeted with orange skies and obscured landmarks.

The massive storm which originated hundreds of miles away struck after midnight and was carried by winds reaching 60mph. The sandstorm, somewhat common in Beijing, is expected to last until Monday…

…Experts have blamed the storms on deforestation and urbanization and have resulted in a marked increase in the number of sandstorms. One storm in 2006 deposited an estimated 300,000 tons of sand on Beijing.

The expansion of deserts in the nation are considered a grave risk as deserts now encompass one third of the land area.

This is a rapidly intensifying problem for China:

The Chinese Academy of Sciences has estimated that the number of sandstorms has jumped six-fold in the past 50 years to two dozen a year.

China, do you really want more deserts?

Posted by James on Sunday, March 21, 2010