Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Global warming hits China...

Early snow in north China triggers herdsmen's living concerns

Holding an armful of hay, Bao Suozhu walked into the livestock shelter to feed his sheep and cows. Although the snow in late November did not cause many losses, his face was still frowning.

"The hay was preserved for the spring festival for lambing, but now I have to start using it because of the snow," said Bao, a herdsman in Hinggan League (Prefecture), a pasture region about 1,500 km northeast of the capital Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.

The snow fell on the League's county-level Horqin Right Front Banner at the China-Mongolia border 40 days earlier than is usual , and was the heaviest in 30 years. Snow has accumulated up to 30 cm deep in most part s of the region , and 50 cm in some areas, disrupting the lives of more than 47,600 people here.

Although no casualties were reported, herdsmen like Bao believe hardships are waiting ahead.

"As the stored hay can only support livestock for one month, it has been two months since we have suffered from the snow," he sighed.

Bao said the grass was sparse due to the drought this summer, and the maize straw that had been planted could barely help the livestock survive the winter. "Now that the snow came much earlier, things would become much harder," he said.


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