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China creates greenhouse gas observation network

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Photo taken on September 20, 2018 shows a photovoltaic power plant in Hami, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight air pollution, China has tried to use more renewable energy to reduce its heavy reliance on polluting coal. (Xinhua / Zhao Ge)

China’s meteorological authority said on Monday that the country had set up its first greenhouse gas observation network after nearly 40 years of construction.

The announcement came after China’s Meteorological Administration released its first national greenhouse gas observing network directory, which includes 60 high-precision observing stations covering the country’s major critical climate zones.

Its observation elements contain seven types of greenhouse gases specified in the Kyoto Protocol, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

China is one of the first countries in the world to perform greenhouse gas background observation. In 1982, China’s first regional atmospheric background monitoring station was commissioned in Beijing.

Cao Xiaozhong, a senior administration official, attributed the establishment of the network to China’s continued participation in the World Meteorological Organization’s global atmosphere monitoring program.

The administration has made a series of efforts this year to help China meet its carbon neutral goal. In addition to the network, it has also set up a national center for monitoring and evaluation of greenhouse gases and carbon neutrality with branches in several provinces, and a system for evaluating the effectiveness of its carbon neutrality actions to accurately distinguish natural and anthropogenic carbon fluxes at global, regional and urban scales, Cao said.

More advanced monitoring facilities and networks will be built in the coming years to provide data support for China’s compliance with its peak carbon and carbon neutrality commitments, Cao said.