Three Gorges Dam Will Improve Climate, Citrus Production
Three Gorges Dam Will Improve Climate, Citrus
Chinese climate and environmental
protection experts believe that the construction of the
Three Gorges Dam will help improve the climate of its
surrounding areas and will be highly conducive to the
planting of citrus fruits.
The area around the
Yangtze River project has a mild climate. In extreme weather
in winter temperatures there are not less than five degrees
below zero centigrade, while the yearly average temperature
is above 15 degrees centigrade. In addition, the area's
humidity can be kept at around 80 percent.
Besides, the dam surroundings have plentiful
precipitation. All these ecological conditions are suited to
planting citrus fruits, a major income source for local
But what changes will occur to the
local climate after the world's largest water-control
project is completed? The Chinese Government has organized
experts to make a long-term and thorough study of the
changes that may take place in the area after the Three
Gorges Reservoir is completed.
that construction of the reservoir may help winter become
warmer and summer cooler in the area. After the reservoir
retains water the monthly average temperature will rise by
0.3 to one degree centigrade in winter and spring, while
falling by 0.9 to 1.2 degrees centigrade in summer.
The improvement of the local climate will
promise an even brighter prospect for citrus planting.
Construction of the reservoir will submerge
74,000 mu (4,933 ha) of citrus orchards, 6.7 percent of a
total of 1.3 million mu (about 867,000 ha). However, the
experts believed that an additional 1.05 million mu of
citrus orchards can be developed in the reservoir
surroundings because of the more favorable climate.
They figured out the space by calculating that
if the reservoir is designed to hold water 175 meters in
depth, sweet oranges to the east of the reservoir can grow
at a height of 450 m above sea level, and mandarin oranges
can grow at a height of 680 m above sea level; while to the
west of the reservoir sweet oranges can grow at a height of
600 m above sea level, and mandarin oranges at 800 m.
At present, the local government and people
are planting new citrus fruits on a large scale. The central
government has also invested heavily in this endeavour.