September 28, 2022

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China faces worst heat wave in recent history: rivers and lakes dry up, water shortages for crops and industry suffer energy shortages | the world

A China lives Very severe heat wave Recent history is according to monitoring by the Beijing Climate Center, a government agency.

The event began on June 13, and is considered the most severe based on three different criteria:

  • Heat intensity
  • Geographical area affected
  • Duration

The heat wave lasted 75 days now, 12 days more than in 2013. The National Weather Service downgraded the warning intensity from red to orange after 12 days of its highest level. But still the temperature is above 40ºC in different parts of the country.

See the following topics in this text:

  • How big is the drought?
  • Why is the country experiencing a heat wave?
  • What are the effects of this heat wave?
  • What are the government’s responses?
  • What is China doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

People walk along what is normally the bed of Boyang Lake in China on August 24, 2022 (Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters)

How big is the drought?

Nearly 1,500 meteorological stations in China reported temperatures above 37°C. The number of records above 40ºC also broke records.

This year, the average number of days with high temperatures in China is 12 days – in normal times, this average is 6.9 days.

Chongqing in the southwest of the country was one of the worst affected areas. On Wednesday, footage posted on social media showed residents of the area fainting from the intense heat during mandatory Covid-19 testing.

Chongqing city reached 45ºC (11 days with temperature above 40ºC).

Why is the country experiencing a heat wave?

The bed of the Jialing River on August 20, 2022 — Photo: Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Scientists have already said that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent around the world due to climate change.

China’s average temperature has risen faster than the rest of the world over the past 70 years, and the local government reports that it will be significantly higher in the future.

The country’s climate department said in an assessment released in early August that the region is sensitive to climate change, with temperatures rising by 0.26C per decade since 1951 (the rest of the world has recorded a rise of 0.15C per decade). )

“In the future, China’s regional average temperature rise will be significantly higher than the rest of the world,” said Yuan Jiashuang, deputy director of China’s National Climate Center.

What are the effects of a heat wave?

Drought caused by the heat caused the exodus Stranded shipsHydropower supply crisis and major cities were forced to use less electricity.

Due to the lack of water in the reservoirs, hydroelectricity was required Run coal-fired power plants They are highly polluting.

High temperature Impedes the planting and growth of agricultural products, threatens livestock And factories were forced to close in parts of the country to ensure electricity supply to homes.

Boyang Lake, the country’s largest freshwater body, Its size has shrunk by more than two-thirds.

The country is prone to fire, especially in the central parts of the country near the Yangtze River (which is the longest waterway in Asia).

Lin Zhang, a professor at City University in Hong Kong who studies the impact of climate change on agriculture, says the problems caused by water scarcity in agriculture could spread to other sectors related to food production. Food prices or even a food supply crisis if the situation is too severe.

What is the government doing?

One of the most immediate problem-solving projects is trying to “seed” rain by launching artifacts that carry chemicals into the sky.

But these efforts were hampered in some parts of the country due to lack of cloud cover.

Leaders asked people not to overuse air conditioning. Civil servants in some provinces were advised to use stairs instead of elevators whenever possible.

The Chongqing government has implemented measures to protect livestock and pig farms facing problems.

What has China done against greenhouse gas emissions?

It is China The world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases (The important ones are carbon dioxide and methane). The country has committed to reducing emissions by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2060.

The severity of recent weather events has made people start discussing climate change in the country more. The country’s government has for years recognized the need to reduce global warming There is a shift to energies like solar and wind, in the country. The government is debating how and at what pace to transition from generation to coal for cleaners.

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