Winter scenery in Beijing. (Photo: chinadaily.com.cn)
China's winter this year may be less chilly and snowy, according to a weather forecast released on Thursday that said temperatures across the country would be higher than previous winters.
According to the National Meteorological Center, the cold air affecting the country will be generally mild over the next week, leading to temperatures 8 to 12 C higher than the same period in previous years.
Areas south of the Yangtze River that have already entered winter may even experience autumn temperatures under the abnormally warm weather pattern next week.
The forecast said that the maximum temperature in many cities in the south will be above 25 C.
In Northeast China, the highest temperature is expected to be around 5 C in Changchun, Jilin province and Shenyang, Liaoning province. In Harbin, Heilongjiang province, the highest temperature will be 0 C; in previous mid-December periods, the city's record was just－9.5 C, the forecast said.
Meanwhile, temperatures in North China will reach as high as 10 C on Friday.
"It is estimated that from 2019 to 2020, the winter monsoon in East Asia will be weaker," said Ye Dianxiu, chief forecaster of the National Climate Center. "And the East Asian trough will be weaker, which means that the cold air in our country is also weak. So this winter is more likely to be a warmer one."
Warm winters－in which the average temperature exceeds the average of the past 30 years－are not uncommon in China.
From 1951 to 2015, there were 19 warm winters, 15 of which occurred from 1990 to 2014, according to the China Meteorological Administration. With the aggravation of global warming, the average temperature in winter has been trending higher, especially since the end of the 20th century.
China has been very sensitive to climate change, a green paper jointly released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the meteorological administration last month said.
The number of heat waves－periods with temperatures above 35 C－could triple in the near future, the administration said.
The paper said that electric vehicles are a good solution to the global warming crisis because nearly a quarter of carbon emissions come from gasoline or diesel vehicles.
The number of electric vehicles needs to grow 30 times in the next 10 years globally to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to keep the increase in global temperature this century well below 2 C above preindustrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 C, the paper added.