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Significant Reduction in Sand-dust Storms

One of China's major sand-dust storm sources at Min Qin in northwest China's Gansu Province has decreased significantly during the past 10 years, according to recent statistic data released by the Min Qin National Climate Observatory (MQNCO).

The MQNCO has analyzed data observed since 1953 when their meteorological records began. The NCO has determined that evolution governs some meteorological elements.

According to statistics from the MQNCO, Min Qin now witnesses on average 17 days of sand-dust storms per year. Sand-dust storms at Min Qin prevailed from the early 1950s to the mid-1960s and decreased thereafter until the mid-1970s. Storms reached a peak from the late 1970s to the late 1980s and then decreased remarkably. Over the past ten years, sand-dust storm days have been half the number encountered during the peak period.

After the 1980's statistics also demonstrated that days with high dust particle counts were greatly reduced. They have only occurred a few times in the 20th century.

Min Qin is located at the lowest reaches of the Shi Yang River in the Gansu Province, between the Badan Jilin Desert and the Tengger Desert. The local government has been trying to upgrade the local eco-system, which has severely deteriorated due to over exploitation of water resources.

(China Development Gateway by Sun Wan August 1, 2007)

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