BEIJING – Half of China’s vast territory is currently suffering from drought, including parts of the freezing Tibetan plateau, official data shows – with higher temperatures predicted for hundreds of millions of people on Thursday, marking the hottest summer since the beginning of the records.
The world’s second largest economy has been hit by record heat, flash floods and droughts – phenomena that scientists say are becoming more frequent and intense due to climate change.
Southern China recorded its longest uninterrupted period of high temperatures since records began more than 60 years ago, the agriculture ministry said this week.
Experts said the intensity, scale and duration of the heat wave could make it one of the worst in global history.
A chart from the National Climate Center showed on Wednesday that parts of southern China – including the Tibetan Plateau – were experiencing “severe” to “extraordinary” drought conditions.
The hardest-hit area – the Yangtze River Basin, which stretches from the coast of Shanghai to Sichuan Province in southwest China – is home to more than 370 million people and contains several manufacturing hubs, including the megalopolis of Chongqing.
China’s meteorological agency predicted high temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in Chongqing and Sichuan, Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces on Thursday.
- Editor/ additional report by AFP