The Yangtze Basin in China has been experiencing an unusual heatwave since the past one week, with mega cities in its basin ranging from Chongqing to Shanghai affected, according to media reports.
China – Scorching Heat Wave –
China’s 86 cities have been placed on red alert as a result of the current heatwave that has affected a vast portion of the country and caused temperatures to skyrocket.
Even as rain continues to cause devastation in many areas, several cities are simultaneously experiencing record high temperatures. These weather extremes brought on by the climate crisis are expected to continue.
In areas of eastern Jiangsu province and neighbouring Shanghai, where records for the highest temperatures for the month of July have been broken, the red alert, the highest in a three-tier warning system, has been issued.
Parts of the provinces of Sichuan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, and Anhui, as well as the cities of Chongqing and Shanghai, had record-breaking high temperatures on Tuesday of 37 to 39 C.
China Meteorological Department –
The China Meteorological Administration reported on Wednesday that temperatures in Yixing, Jiangsu, spiked to 41.3C on the same day, setting a new record high.
Particularly, Shaoxing, Ningbo, Jiaxing, and Huzhou in Zhejiang, as well as Changzhou and Wuxi in Jiangsu, as well as the cities of Luzhou and Yibin in Sichuan and Zhaotong in Yunnan, had temperatures of around 40–42C.
After at least 2.45 million views were recorded for comments ranging from people being admitted to hospitals to the negative consequences of prolonged heat exposure, “heatstroke” started trending on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
“The weather this year has been extremely hot and unusual—it has been above 30°C for two months!” a Weibo user wrote.
In the upcoming 24 hours, forecasters predicted that temperatures in several cities will reach 40 C. Authorities have issued warnings to get ready for extremely hot weather.
Many Chinese cities rarely see such high temperatures for extended periods of time. Shanghai has only experienced 15 days with temperatures above 40C since records began to be kept in 1873. But for a number of years, the average temperature has been rising.
Large portions of the US and Europe are also experiencing extreme heat, and the UK’s NHS has reached a “tipping point” as hospitals and ambulance services issued the strongest black alert.
On Tuesday, Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Shandong, Hebei, Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang provinces as well as the Inner Mongolia region were hammered by torrential rain.
According to authorities, beginning in mid-July, often the warmest and wettest time of the year, the two weather extremes brought on by the climate issue can cause tragedies.
Cities in China’s southwest have already seen floods and water-logging as a result of the torrential rains that have also disrupted traffic and left inhabitants stranded. Local reports claim that at least two deaths occurred on Tuesday in the city of Mianyang in the Sichuan region in southwest China.
While a number of causes contribute to these uncommon weather occurrences, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has already cautioned that as a result of the climate crisis, such weather extremes are expected to increase and become more frequent.
After South Asia, including India and Pakistan, experienced a deadly summer that arrived much earlier this year from March to May, affecting crop production and resulting in an energy crisis, Japan experienced its worst heat wave since 1875. China is now experiencing its worst heat wave since those events.
Although millions of people were forced to flee their homes due to severe flooding in northeast India and Bangladesh, rains are still causing havoc in other parts of south Asia.
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Latest red alert heatwave in China, once an anomaly, is becoming more the pattern this summer, as with nations across the planet. Time to act… or become mere actors on the stage of an unfolding tragedy. #climate #climatechange #GlobalWarming pic.twitter.com/2OxToHntzK— Zhang Meifang张美芳 (@CGMeifangZhang) July 15, 2022