Record-breaking heat has led to China’s economy being impacted with people, industry and farming all bearing the brunt of the extreme heat.
Rivers and reservoir levels have tanked and factories have had to be closed due to electricity shortages.
Two months of extreme heat have been plaguing China with temperatures soaring to record highs. On August 18, Chongqing in the Sichuan province reached 45 degrees Celsius the highest ever recorded in China outside the desert-dominated region of Xinjiang.
On Aug 20 temperatures in the city were at a maximum of 43.7 degrees and a minimum of 34.9 which is the highest minimum temperature in China.
Subway stations have started implementing rest areas where people can recover from the heat.
According to weather historian Maximiliano Herrera, this is the longest and hottest heatwave China has ever had since national records have started being kept in 1961.
“This combines the most extreme intensity with the most extreme length with an incredibly huge area all at the same time. There is nothing in the world climatic history which is even minimally comparable to what is happening in China,” said Herrera.
Some 66 rivers have dried up completely and in parts of Yangtze water levels are at its lowest since 1865. Sichuan province is one of the most badly affected as it relies heavily on hydroelectric power which is a problem due to low water levels.
Thousand of factories have had to cease operations and offices and shopping malls have also been told to reduce their lighting and air conditioning to save power.
In Sichuan alone, 47,000 hectares of crops have been lost and 433,000 hectares damaged. Cloud seeding is expected to take place soon.
China is not the only one affected, Europe is also having its worse drought in 500 years. There is also a drought in the Horn of Africa and across US and Mexico according to a report by NewScientist.
A 2021 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that droughts have been increasing as a result of global warming and is expected to become more frequent.