National and regional programs on the measurement of precipitation chemistry are being carried out. Several institutes in China have the skilled personnel to make state-of-the-art determinations of precipitation composition and have done so on a regional basis. The data sets from these studies, especially the more recent ones, are of high quality and the publications resulting from those data are of interest to the global community. Unfortunately, the precipitation composition data available at this time generally are not adequate to address the question of China's impact on global change. The most intractable problem is one of data availability. If Chinese agencies do not provide open access to their data by scientists both within and outside China, then questions that require the use of precipitation data cannot be adequately answered.
Because of its vital importance to agriculture and economic development, water is considered by the Chinese to be the most precious natural resource. China's approach to studying the hydrological cycle probably will remain very focused on Chinese resource management issues and on social and economic impacts. The relationship between climate change and hydrology appears to be a priority, as evidenced by the work of the National Climate Change Coordination Group and by current and planned research by major institutions such as the Ministry of Water Resources and CAS.
The panel identified research that focuses on two problems of water resource management. The first problem involves increased water pollution due to increasing population, urbanization, and demand for industrial and agricultural outputs. The second problem concerns the uneven distribution of water resources, since most of the water supply is concentrated in the southern part of China while the northern areas have experienced increasing levels of drought in recent years.
The Chinese effort in biogeochemistry has numerous components relevant to land-atmosphere interactions. The panel reports on several that were observed in some depth. First, a program measuring