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China and Global Change: Opportunities for Collaboration 1 Introduction CHINA'S ROLE IN GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE Because of its tremendous population, economic development strategies, and natural resource base, China is causing significant environmental change, with impacts that extend regionally and, in some cases, globally. The Chinese population stands at more than 1.1 billion people and it is increasing by more than 15 million annually—a figure equal to the total population of Australia. China is pursuing economic policies designed to achieve rapid growth industrially and in agricultural production. This growth will be fueled by high-sulfur coal, which accounts (and is expected to continue to account) for approximately three-quarters of China's annual energy consumption. As a result, 20 million tons of coal dust and 15 million tons of sulfur dioxide are emitted each year. The emission of biogenic methane from agricultural practices, specifically rice paddy production, is significant.1 The large deserts in western China are also important to the global environment; their dust—mixed with industrial pollutants—is transported over the Pacific Ocean, which may alter the chemistry and radiative processes in the remote troposphere. To the extent that environmental stresses threaten domestic economic development and food production, the Chinese government has been responsive. Furthermore, environmental pollution and the degradation of natural resources are substantive problems that have caught the public's attention. But, like the rest of the world, the
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China and Global Change: Opportunities for Collaboration concept of global change is neither well understood nor are the effects of global change tangibly felt in the lives of ordinary citizens. Consequently, global change is not top policy priority when matched against the readily apparent consequences of China's environmental problems. That is not to say that no interest or concern exists. The impact of global warming, for example, has been addressed at the national level. In the ''National Report of the People's Republic of China on Environment and Development'' (SPC 1991), the important implications of global warming on agricultural output and sea-level rise were explicitly noted. Moreover, the Asian Development Bank has recently approved a $600,000 technical assistance grant to China (to be administered through the State Science and Technology Commission [Chapter 3]) to formulate a national response strategy for global climate change. Despite a clear acknowledgement of environmental problems and calls for substantive mediation, a national policy on the issues of global environmental change is not well formed. In China, as in other countries, the issues of global environmental change have emerged from the scientific community. And, the Chinese scientific community is responding, assisted, in part, by major international research programs that address global climate and global environmental change. As a result, a policy approach to global change issues and support for research is evolving. China has been forceful in international fora in advocating that wealthy industrialized nations help finance developing countries' participation in regimes addressing global warming. In 1991, China signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone (herein referred to as the Montreal Protocol) and is researching and developing chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-alternative technologies. China will remain heavily dependent on coal to fuel the advances envisioned in its ambitious economic development plans for the 1990s. No doubt exists that anthropogenic emissions will increase. As maximum economic growth policies proceed, land use changes will be greatly accelerated, which have implications for land use patterns, water resources, and atmospheric composition. Also, due to energy inefficiencies, resource consumption patterns, and increased fertilizer applications, China will alter the regional and global atmospheric chemical composition due to increased trace gas fluxes. PURPOSE AND STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY Background The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), through the Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China
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China and Global Change: Opportunities for Collaboration (CSCPRC), has been working for a number of years to promote China's full participation in international global change research programs, in particular the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP). In 1987, NAS sent John Eddy, James McCarthy, and Harold Mooney, three leading figures in the U.S. global change science community, to China to discuss global change and possible areas for collaboration. Based on that visit, the National Science Foundation (NSF) provided funding to the CSCPRC to foster scientific collaboration.2 Even though these individual collaborations were being organized with some success by CSCPRC and by researchers themselves, it became increasingly apparent that Western scientists lacked any broadly based or detailed knowledge about the development and status of Chinese national responses to global change. It was not that the Chinese were trying to withhold information; on the contrary, they were disseminating lists of projects in research areas under the IGBP, for example. However, this information lacked details crucial to any substantive understanding of the organization of the Chinese global change programs and of the contents of research projects. Documentation in English usually was limited to project titles; details about project design, objectives, implementation period, or principal investigators and institutes usually were not provided. Purpose Given China's current and potential impacts on the global environment and the contributions Chinese science can make to global change research, it is all the more important for China to participate fully in international research programs that address global change questions. However, not much detailed information has been available to program planners or foreign researchers interested in collaboration. Consequently, the CSCPRC requested funding from the Division of International Programs at NSF to conduct a study that would report systematically and in greater detail about the organization of Chinese global change science and research activities. The thrust of the report is twofold. First, and primarily, the report is a reference for individuals who wish to develop collaborative projects with Chinese colleagues, particularly for those who have little or no direct experience in conducting cooperative science in China. To meet this goal, the panel worked hard to find out substantive details about research, despite the limits of available documentation. Secondly, by discussing the way Chinese science is organized, the report provides insights into research priorities, institutional infrastructure, human resources, and other factors that constrain or facilitate Chinese responses to global change.
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China and Global Change: Opportunities for Collaboration Committee Charge With NSF support, the CSCPRC formed a panel of U.S. experts to study and report on the state of basic research in China in the area of climate studies and global change and to give detailed description and analysis of a selected number of topics. The panel was asked to provide both broad and in-depth coverage of the state of global change sciences in China. First, the overview would include: (1) the organization, composition, and agenda of the Chinese National Committee for the IGBP (CNCIGBP) and the Chinese National Climate Committee; (2) projects, institutions, personnel, research, education, centers of excellence, international cooperation (with special emphasis on Pacific Asia), and other scientific activities related to global change; (3) science policies, administration, funding, and research priorities; and (4) the larger social and economic environment that bears on the global change agenda. To substantiate the overview further, the panel was asked to focus secondly and in greater detail on a selected number of disciplines or research topics that complement specific components of the U.S. national research program and the IGBP core projects. These focal assessments would illuminate capabilities and policy commitments and explore the potential for collaboration with the U.S. scientific community and the potential for contributions to international research. The panel chose two focal areas: atmospheric chemistry and physical and ecological interactions of the atmosphere and land surface. In the first area, the panel examined oxidants, trace gases, aerosols, and atmospheric deposition. And, in the second area, the panel examined hydrology, biotic controls on trace gases, and land cover change dynamics. Based on this charge, the panel was formally constituted as the "CSCPRC Panel on Global Climate Change Sciences in China." When the panel met together for the first time, however, members noted that the committee charge went beyond climate change studies and, therefore, approached its work under the broader rubric of reporting on global change sciences. Methodology The panel met in Washington, D.C. in March 1991 for an organizational meeting to determine the methodology for the study and to make research, writing, and travel assignments. Literature reviews were commissioned to assist panel members in their report writing. Focal topics outlined above were chosen based on panel members'
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China and Global Change: Opportunities for Collaboration expertise and areas of interest, and no attempt was made to be comprehensive, even within a focal area. In order to collect detailed information about research activities and institutional capabilities, panel members decided to spend various amounts of time in China. The panel enlisted the cooperation of the CNCIGBP in compiling English-language summary documents and in organizing seminar presentations on research. CNCIGBP is administered by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which is the largest institution in China carrying out research across the range of global change disciplines. Because CAS plays a primary role in global change research and because of its role in organizing panel access to information, the study's information about CAS activities is particularly robust compared to other agencies. In June 1991, panel members James Galloway, Joseph Berry, C.S. Kiang, Shaw Liu, David Schimel, Wei-Chyung Wang, John Winchester, and Beryl Leach, panel staff officer, visited China as a group. Under the direction of Ye Duzheng, chairman of the CNCIGBP, materials were collected for the panel, itineraries for panel members were arranged, and a two-day seminar was held at which agencies and CAS institutes were able to introduce their current and planned global change research. Nien Dak Sze visited China in July 1991. For approximately 2 weeks in August, William Reiners visited Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Even though the panel members recognized that time and financial constraints would prevent a comprehensive itinerary of visits to institutes engaged in global change research, visits were recognized as a valuable and necessary way to collect the type of detailed information the panel sought. Using a survey tool devised after the first panel meeting, members surveyed each institute for a consistent set of details about organization, research projects, equipment, and research facilities in order to identify centers of excellence and potential areas for collaboration. Visits to institutions involved in the management or funding of science were also arranged in order to improve information about the organization of science and current science policy priorities. See Chapter 3 and Appendix A for details. To compensate for the limited amount of time available to make visits, the panel drew extensively and very successfully on the resources and expertise of the CSCPRC Beijing Office. Office personnel followed up on panel visits and provided substantive support in collecting details to supplement Chinese documentation and the panel's preliminary findings. Use of this office was crucial to the panel's successful completion of its charge. In November 1991, most panel members met in Washington D.C.
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China and Global Change: Opportunities for Collaboration to analyze and integrate their findings and draft the report. Subsequently, small ad hoc panel meetings were held in Baltimore, Maryland (two), Boulder, Colorado (one), and Charlottesville, Virginia (three) to work on report sections. Because of the scope of the study and the limited time available for research in China, the panel recognizes that its findings are not exhaustive. It will rely on the efforts of others to help complete the picture now being sketched in this report. Report Format Chapter 1 describes why it is important to understand the role China plays in global change and China's need to be fully integrated into the major international global change research programs, which provide the justification for the study. In addition, Chapter 1 describes the terms, methodology, and format for the study and report. Chapter 2 describes how China views global change and how it has organized its research efforts by forming national committees for the IGBP and the World Climate Research Program (WCRP). Chapter 3 provides an overview of the major institutions involved in research, policy, or funding of global change research. Chapter 4 describes Chinese research that is relevant to IGBP and WCRP core programs and the Chinese Ecological Research Network, which is considered an official component of the Chinese global change program. Chapter 5 focuses in greater detail on specific research topics selected by the panel. Chapter 6 presents the panel's major findings concerning China's contributions to global change research and prospects for collaboration. Appendix A contains detailed reports from institutions visited by panel members. Appendix B presents a listing for the National Natural Science Foundation of China of recent Chinese global change projects for which it provides either partial or total funding. Appendix C lists selected global change research being conducted under the U.S.-China scientific protocols, relevant university-level bilateral research known to the panel, and projects in which China is involved with other Pacific Rim or European countries. Appendix D lists CAS ecological research stations, including those in CERN and the CERN plan for major ecosystem research. Appendix E provides contact information for investigators and institutions referenced in this report. Appendix F lists abbreviations and acronyms used in the report.
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China and Global Change: Opportunities for Collaboration NOTES 1. Some of these gases and what happens to them in photochemical reactions are also important, as infrared and reactive active species can accumulate in the atmosphere and alter climate and oxidative capacity in the global environment. 2. The ad hoc USA-PRC Committee for the Joint Study of Global Change, under the co-chairmanship of James N. Galloway (University of Virginia) and James Gosz (University of New Mexico) was established to facilitate the development of cooperative studies by organizing and funding project development workshops. By 1991, six areas and co-principal investigators had been identified and five bilateral workshops had been held: climate-vegetation interactions, precipitation composition, global change education (proposal pending), air and water transport of soils (two funded proposals), background concentrations of trace gas fluxes to the atmosphere (proposal pending), and building links between the Chinese Ecological Research Network and the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Network (three funded projects).
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