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China and Global Change: Opportunities for Collaboration
No. 3 and SOA research vessel Xiangyanghong No. 5 were chosen to participate in TOGA.
The Chinese have tried to forecast El Niño and La Niña events by using historical and observational data collected from 1985 to 1990. The 1987–1988 El Niño and the 1988–1989 La Niña forecasts were successful, but the 1988–1989 El Niño development was not. In the process, the Chinese discovered different types of El Niño, El Niño development processes, and climate effects over China. As it turned out, the relationship between climate over China and El Niño was not a simple statistical problem.
For basic research on air-sea interaction, the Chinese are undertaking various activities: (1) different methods of measuring fluxes; (2) an air-sea column heat budget study by using data from two-vessel synchronous observation; (3) publication of the Atlas of Climate Physics of Tropical Pacific Ocean; (4) a newly designed air-sea coupled numerical model employing the daily synchronous coupling technique; and (5) a laboratory study of the air-sea interface, which has shown that the "low of wall" obtained from rigid surface is not valid for large areas over the ocean.
In the Eighth 5-Year Plan, NSFC and CAS are each contributing 5.5 million yuan ($1 million) and SOA 55 million yuan ($10 million) to fund TOGA. NSFC also supports WOCE but amounts and proportions were not given (NSFC 1991b).
Summary of Research in Marine Environments
China is located on a large piece of the world's coastal land area and a substantial scientific infrastructure addresses coastal zone issues in a first-rate manner. The Chinese JGOFS plans (which, under current definitions, can be considered LOICZ activities) and TOGA involvements are ambitious and valuable components of IGBP and WCRP. The participating scientists are well qualified and eager for international cooperation. In addition to marine research, China offers a combination of land-based research endeavors that are very important to a LOICZ focus on land-ocean interactions (Shi et al. 1990). It is quite likely that Chinese efforts would be restricted to Chinese coastal zones—whether in cooperation with TOGA or LOICZ—unless activities were funded from international sources. As LOICZ planning continues, involvement of Chinese scientific leadership might bring particular strength to activities in coastal Asia—an area identified by LOICZ planners as being especially interesting and important from a global perspective.