requirements will demand closer attention to quality assurance and quality control, documentation, and standards. The scope of this undertaking has significant implications for the types of contributions China can make to ecological studies and international scientific programs.
In Chapter 5, the panel addresses two focal areas: atmospheric chemistry and physical and ecological interactions of the atmosphere and land surface. Within these areas, specific topics were chosen by the panel based on members' expertise and panel opinion about the relevance to U.S. and international research. It should be noted that no attempt was made to be comprehensive in examining all of the possible topics available for discussion in a given focal area.
The major energy source in China is coal. Emissions of particulate matter and SO2 from burning coal are major contributors to regional air pollution. These emissions not only contribute to urban and regional pollution problems such as oxidants and acid precipitation, but potentially also have global impacts. Remarkably high levels of tropospheric O3 over northeastern China and Japan in spring and summer have been deduced from satellite observations.
Chinese atmospheric chemistry research has been conducted primarily in areas of urban pollution, for example, suspended particles, O3 and O3 precursors, and toxic species. Recently, there have been some important efforts to address large-scale background atmospheric chemistry issues that have regional or global implications. The major foci of these efforts include tropospheric oxidants, greenhouse gases, aerosols, stratospheric O3, and acid precipitation. However, these efforts are severely limited due to a lack of funding, advanced instruments, and expertise in a few global change-related disciplines. It appears that atmospheric chemistry is not a field of high priority.
Research on trace gases other than urban air pollutants started in recent years when it was realized that all of the trace gases other than CO2 contribute equally as much as it does to climate change. Much of the attention has been on CH4, N2O, and CO2 emissions from various biogenic sources such as rice paddies and forests.
Like many cities in the world, high levels of O3 are a major air