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Led by the Chief Scientist, Prof. Ma Zhuguo, the National Key Research Program on global change, "The Decadal Climate Change Mechanisms in Global Typical Arid and Semi-arid Areas and its impact studies", held its annual project meeting on 24-26 January 2015 at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The project expert-group including Prof. Wang Sumin from Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Prof. Dong Wenjie from Beijing Normal University, and Dr. Zhang Hongxiang from the leading edge of Earth Sciences Department of Education, CAS were invited to attend the meeting. More than 70 scientists and researchers from Lanzhou University, Xinjiang Institute of Geography and Biology, Lanzhou University, China Agricultural University, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of CAS, China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi Desert Meteorological Institute, and the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, CAS, joined the annual meeting.

The meeting started with progress reports by four sub-projects leaders on their group respective tasks in 2014. Prof. Ma Zhuguo, PI of the first sub-project, summarized the progress on the characteristics and mechanisms of arid and semi-arid regions’ decadal-scale drought, and the problems that present challenges for the coming research year. The second sub-project is mainly focused on the land-atmosphere interaction and its impacts on climate change in the arid and semi-arid areas. Prof. Zuo Hongchao presented their annual report and discussed the upcoming tasks of this sub-project. The third sub-project, led and reported by Dr. Zhao Tianbao, showed some initial results on the impacts of human activities on climate change in arid and semi-arid regions. Dr. Zhao Tianbao, also described the foci of the working plan for the next year. The forth group, led by Prof. Wang Quan, submitted the achievements on the studies of “the mechanism of the impact of climate change on ecosystems”, “The Influence of climate change on water resources assessment”, and “agricultural adaptation to climate change in arid and semi-arid regions”. The project expert-group gave a positive remark on the progress of the four sub-projects accomplished in 2014, and, in the meantime, provided suggestions and comments on the existing problems of each sub-project. The experts emphasized the importance of completing the project tasks, as well as paying attention to provide services to meet the great needs of the country, and to provide advices on “climate change adaptation” to the policy makers.

Within the two-day meeting, the subject scientists also delivered their individual annual working reports followed by fruitful discussions. The project activities in 2014 were summarized and core tasks for 2015 were also clarified at the meeting. The suggestions and comments from the experts will be considered by the research groups in 2015, which will help to meet the full project missions itemized in the program proposal.

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