7 weather satellites set to launch by 2015
Updated: 2011-03-14 07:52
By Cai Muyuan (China Daily)
BEIJING - China will launch seven meteorological satellites in the next five years and double its investment in meteorological infrastructure, according to Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).
That almost doubles the number launched during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) period, he said on the sidelines of the ongoing National People's Congress (NPC) session on Friday.
According to Zheng, the accuracy of the new meteorological satellites will be greatly improved as the observation frequency will increase from once every half an hour to once every five minutes and the ground resolution will be improved from 1 kilometer to between 100 and 200 meters.
He said the meteorological satellites, which are due to launch in 2014 or 2015, will help provide better warning of extreme weather events.
China has made impressive progress enhancing its meteorological observation in the past five years, through launching meteorological satellites and building Doppler radar networks, but the country will increase its efforts during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015) in a bid to increase its early-warning capability, Zheng said.
"We have installed 164 weather radar in the past five years, with more than 50 radar under construction now. The number is expected to reach 300 by 2015, so that we can respond to catastrophic weather more effectively," he said.
Zheng said that China will invest 8 to 9 billion yuan ($1.22 to 1.37 billion) in meteorological infrastructure in the next five years, which doubles the investment of the past five years.
In the past 10 years, the investment in meteorological infrastructure grew 15.3 percent each year, exceeding the country's average economic growth rate, which was around 10 percent.
"I haven't seen such huge investments in this field anywhere else in the world," he said. "The coverage of China's meteorological services will reach 95 percent of the population in five years."
In the government work report submitted to the NPC on March 5, Premier Wen Jiabao vowed to strengthen China's ability to adapt to climate change and respond to extreme climate events, and said that the country will put in place energy conservation and greenhouse gas emission reductions monitoring systems.
"CMA will also evaluate China's solar energy resources and offshore wind energy resources in the next five years in order to accelerate the country's strategic economic restructuring and adjust the energy structure," Zheng said.
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