China-EU strengthening cooperation to monitor climate change

China and the European Union have strengthened cooperation in space technology to monitor climate change.

Updated: Jul 12, 2010, 15:42 PM IST

Beijing: China and the European Union
have strengthened cooperation in space technology to monitor
climate change and improve the ability to deal with natural
disasters through measures like joint research and sharing

China`s Ministry of Science and Technology and the
European Space Agency are conducting a cooperation project-
DRAGONESS, which is China`s largest international cooperation
project in the field of earth observation.

The project includes joint scientific research,
sharing data, technological training and exchange of scholars.

At a conference titled "Let`s Embrace Space", held by
the EU pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo, Reinhard Schulte
Braucks, head of Unit Space Research and Development,
European Commission, said China and the EU should strengthen
cooperation and act to improve air quality monitoring.

Braucks said China has many resources that the EU
does not have. It has also sent many satellites into orbit,
which can provide a large quantity of important data, official
news agency Xinhua reported on Monday.

Zhang Peng, a researcher with the National Satellite
Meteorological Center of the China Meteorological
Administration, said: "Within the framework of DRAGONESS,
Chinese and European scientists combine the satellite data of
the two sides to monitor the climate and offer advice to the
environmental protection departments".

"The research will help evaluate the changing process
of greenhouse gases in the long term," Zhang said.

Gao Zhihai, a researcher with the Institute of
Resources Information of the Chinese Academy of Forestry
Sciences said Sino-EU cooperation also plays an important
role in natural disaster monitoring.

"After the two devastating earthquakes in Wenchuan,
southwest China`s Sichuan Province in 2008, and in Yushu,
northwest China`s Qinghai Province in 2010, the EU provided
China with timely disaster monitoring data which effectively
supported disaster relief works and rehabilitation," Gao said.

Piao Shilong, a professor with Peking University, said
the university and EU launched a joint project in April this
year to study the carbon sources and carbon sinks in China.

A carbon sink is a component of the carbon cycle that
stores more carbon than it emits into the atmosphere.

The three-year project will be of great importance in
controlling emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon
dioxide, and curbing the negative effects of human activities
in global climate change, Piao said.

"Through the project, China can obtain a clear picture
of its carbon budget on the terrestrial ecosystem," Piao said.

"China`s carbon sinks are no less than those in
Europe. About 28 to 37 per cent of industrial carbon emissions
can be offset, similar to the level in the United States,"
Piao said.

The outcome of the Sino-EU joint research will answer
how much greenhouse gases can be absorbed by the terrestrial
system in China.

The research will also provide a scientific basis for
developing policies regarding curbing greenhouse gases, Piao