Spring sandstorms are inevitable, so people should
accept the law of nature and not worry so much.
So said China's top meteorologist in order to correct
what he considers public misunderstanding of the annual
Qin Dahe, director of the China Meteorological
Administration (CMA) and a CPPCC member representing the scientific
community, said sandstorms, as natural phenomena, could not be
eliminated by human effort.
"The public should have a full understanding of sand
and dust, which have complex effects on nature and society," Qin
"Without sandstorms, Chinese society would not have
Qin said sandstorms had contributed to the creation of
nearly 1 million square kilometers of loess plateau. The Yellow
River, which the Chinese think of as the Mother River, flowed over
the plateau, washing away huge amounts of dust, thereby forming the
North China Plain, where the Chinese people originated.
"It is impossible for human beings to get rid of
sandstorms, which have existed for millions of years," Qin
However, he added that people could take measures to
minimize the negative effects wrought by sand and dust, such as
reforesting farmland, growing grassland in western parts of the
country and reclaiming territory from the encroaching
Meanwhile, Qin said meteorologists would work harder
to better forecast sandstorms so the relevant authorities could
take the appropriate preparatory steps.
The country's meteorological services are expected to
expand their work from simply reporting the weather to giving early
warnings of extreme weather and providing more in-depth forecasts
of the climate.
"It is a big responsibility for meteorologists, but
the country and the people need it," Qin said.
He said China's meteorologists can forecast about 80
percent of disastrous weather events, about five percentage points
less than their US counterparts.
"They're already doing a pretty good job. One-hundred
percent accuracy in meteorological work is impossible," Qin
(China Daily March 15,