This year China had the hottest summer since records began in 1961, with the average temperature in Chinese territory rising to 22.3 degrees between June 1st and August 31st.
The temperature was “1.1 degrees Celsius above the average of previous years and was the highest since 1961”, according to data from the country’s Meteorological Administration, quoted today by the official Xinhua news agency.
A total of 17 provincial-level regions, including Hunan Province and Chongqing Municipality, both in central China, recorded record summer temperatures, the same source added.
In total, 15 weather stations across the country have recorded temperatures of up to or above 44 degrees Celsius this summer.
The average number of days with temperatures above 35 degrees this summer reached 14.3, another record since 1961, and 6.3 days more than the average in previous years.
The lowest levels of rainfall since 1961 were also recorded. The drought severely affected agriculture.
In provinces like Hubei, in the center of the country, some 220,000 people struggled to access clean water this summer and at least 690,000 hectares of farmland were damaged as a result of the drought, according to official figures.
The drought also meant that provincial capitals such as Nanjing (east) and Nanchang (center) had no rainfall during the first three weeks of August.
In recent days, drought in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River has caused the water level of Lake Poyang, China’s largest freshwater lake, to drop to 8.15 meters, officially entering the “extremely dry” category.
This year’s drought has also caused fires in mountainous areas of regions such as Chongqing, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people.
Local meteorologist Chen Lijuan recently explained that periods of intense heat, which start “earlier and end later”, could become the “new normal” in the Asian country, under “the effect of climate change”.
Source: With Agencies