China faces heatwave havoc on power, crops and livestock

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People walked on dry lake beds amid sweltering heat, while parts of the country’s southwest to east along the Yangtze River experienced weeks of record-breaking heat waves. (Photo by Reuters)

SHANGHAI: Pole heat in China wreaked havoc on Wednesday despite lower temperatures in some areas, with authorities on the Yangtze River basin scrambling to limit damage from climate change electricity, crops and livestock.
China’s heat wave, which has lasted 70 days, is the longest and most widespread heatwave on record, with about 30% of 600 weather stations along the Yangtze River recording their highest temperatures ever since. so far last Friday.
The southwestern region of Chongqing has been particularly hard hit, with one resident, Zhang Ronghai, saying both his water and electricity supply had been cut off after a four-day mountain fire in the county Jiangjin.
“People need to go to a power center more than 10 kilometers (6 miles) away to charge their phones,” says Zhang.
On Wednesday, images shared on China’s Twitter-like Weibo service showed residents and volunteers in Chongqing and Sichuan struggling and even fainting from the intense heat during meetings. mandatory Covid-19 testing.
The Chongqing Agriculture Authority also introduced emergency measures to protect livestock at more than 5,000 large-scale pig farms, which are facing “severe challenges” due to heat, transmission state media said.
Lin Zhong, a professor at the City University of Hong Kong, who has studied its impact could “spread to other food-related sectors, leading to significant price increases or a food crisis in the school.” most serious case”. of climate change on agriculture in China.
China’s National Meteorological Center downgraded the national heat warning to “orange” on Wednesday after 12 consecutive days of “red warnings,” but temperatures are expected to still exceed 40 degrees. C (104 degrees F) in Chongqing, Sichuan, and other areas of the Yangtze River basin.
A weather station in Sichuan recorded a temperature of 43.9 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, the highest ever in the province, official forecasters said on their Weibo channel.
Wake up
China has warned that it is particularly vulnerable to climate change and natural disaster expected to proliferate in the coming years due to the volatile weather.
As the drought persisted, the state media turned their attention to the impact of climate change on other countries.
The official newspaper of China’s corruption watchdog said on Tuesday: “Climate change is once again a wake-up call for the world, adding that heat waves are damaging and Droughts have hit Europe, Africa and North America in recent weeks.
China, the world’s largest emitter of climate-warming greenhouse gases, has pledged to peak CO2 by 2030 and become “carbon neutral” by 2060, and it is also racing to get ahead. in renewable energy development.
However, drought has eroded hydropower production and coal-fired power has increased, with factories in Anhui province increasing production by 12% compared to normal years.
Li Shuo, climate adviser with Greenpeace in Beijing, warned that the power shortage “could easily be used as an argument to build more coal plants” but said a season extreme summers across the globe could prompt more action to be taken.
Prospects of international cooperation to tackle climate change have dimmed after this month’s visit by US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, an autonomous island that China claims as its own. .
In response, an irate China canceled climate talks with the United States, ending a key channel that had helped advance greener policies.
China has said that climate is inseparable from broader diplomatic issues. Last week, the US State Department told the US it should end its boycott of solar power products from the Xinjiang region and provide funds to help developing countries adapt.
The US has banned imports from Xinjiang in an effort to protect the US market from potentially contaminated products. human rights violations. China denies the abuse is taking place.
“If recent events don’t come to mind, it’s hard to know what will happen,” said Mark Beeson, a professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, who studies global climate politics. .


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