An unusually intense summer heat wave has dried up rivers, scorched crops and caused isolated power outages, state media reported Tuesday.

Southern China said last month that parts of Sichuan and the metropolis of Chongqing were in what could be one of the worst heatwaves in world history, with days well over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on consecutive days. the house said.

State broadcaster CCTV, citing the country’s weather service, reported that the national average temperature in August was 22.4C, 1.2C above normal.

About 267 weather stations across the country matched or broke last month’s temperature record, according to the report.

It was also the third driest August in China on record, with an average rainfall of 23.1% less than average.

CCTV said, “There are an unusually high number of days with abnormally high average temperatures, and regional hot processes continue to affect our country,” the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Scientists say human-induced climate change is making extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts and flash floods more frequent and intense.

Several provinces in China began imposing power outages last month as temperatures hit 45 degrees Celsius. This was as some cities fought to cope with the surge in power demand from people turning on their air conditioners.

Images from Chongqing show tributaries of the mighty Yangtze River nearly drying up, and scenes of widespread receding water in China’s largest freshwater lake echoed farther east.

‘serious threat’

Chongqing and the eastern metropolis of Shanghai have switched off decorative outdoor lighting to ease power shortages. Meanwhile, authorities in Sichuan imposed a blackout at factories as water levels at a major hydroelectric power plant dropped.

The central government has approved billions of yuan in subsidies to help rice farmers after local officials warned that the drought would pose a “serious threat” to this year’s harvest.

“This is a warning to us and a reminder to better understand climate change and improve our ability to adapt to climate change in all respects,” said Zhang, a senior official at the China National Climate Center. Daquan said in a statement provided by the Chinese government on Monday. The state-run People’s Daily.

“In order to adapt to climate change, it is also necessary to raise awareness throughout society and strive to minimize social and economic impacts and losses,” Zhang said.

Higher-than-normal temperatures are expected across China during September, according to Xiao Zhang, deputy director of the Meteorological Administration.

coal boost

Scientists say the world’s carbon footprint needs to be cut rapidly to avoid potentially catastrophic global warming and its associated climate impacts.

China, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, has committed to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and zero by 2060.

But record heat and drought, coupled with power shortages last year, are forcing officials to return to using carbon-rich coal in what they describe as a bump on the road to a more sustainable future. increase.

Earlier this year, Beijing said it would boost its coal mining capacity by 300 million tonnes, stepping up approvals for coal-fired power plants and related infrastructure.

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