March 1, 2007 / 4:52 PM / 12 years ago

Shanghai has warmest winter on record

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Shanghai, China’s largest city, has experienced its warmest winter since records began in 1873, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

The average temperature over the past three months was 8.1 degrees Celsius (46.6 Fahrenheit), 2.6 degrees warmer than the previous average, Xinhua quoted the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau as saying.

Lei Xiaotu, director of the bureau’s climate center, attributed the record temperatures to global warming.

The warmer weather cut energy consumption in some parts of Shanghai, home to about 18 million people. It also helped the growth of vegetables, pushing down their prices, Lei said.

The warming trend could also have negative effects on human health and the environment, he said.

Earlier this week, Shanghai authorities said a particularly serious plague of mosquitoes was expected this summer after the warm winter helped them breed.

The winter was unusually warm for China as a whole, with an average temperature of minus 2.6 degrees, 1.8 degrees higher than normal, Xinhua said. Last year was the country’s warmest in more than half a century.

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