Fu Congbin, chairman of the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) of MAIRS, and his colleagues had found out that the most serious dry area in China was the semi-arid area in the northwest, also the northern boundary of summer monsoons, indicating a correlation.
Scientists under MAIRS, the first project on climate change initiated by Chinese scientists, had been following monsoon activities in the semi-arid areas of northwestern China for about a year to find out how the Asian monsoon system copes with changes in land coverage, water resources and air quality resulted from industrialization.
Under guidance of the SSC, which consists of 15 leading scientists from different Asian countries, MAIRS would start tracking monsoons in the eastern Yangtze River Delta soon.
The exact date of start depends on when MAIRS could persuade existing observation stations to join the program, according to Fu, who's also an academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
The overall project is studying changes in monsoons in Asia, the most active monsoon region in the world, to find out how human activity has affected climate change.
The project would also study monsoon activities on the Tibetan Plateau in cooperation with the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Fu said.
Recent studies by the world's scientists show that increase in emissions of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide, and overuse of land and pastures are partly to blame for the decrease in crop output and abnormality in precipitation.
"We will study changes in human activities such as urbanization and industrialization, energy production and use, land use and coverage, as well as use of water resources like dam construction," Fu said.
The MAIRS program will interact with international and regional research bodies such as the Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS), Global Water System Project (GWSP), Global Carbon Project (GCP), and the Asian-Australian Monsoon Panel (AMMP).