Photo Credit: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
The effects of the climate crisis could be felt in China as well. The Chinese economy is currently having problems due to frequent flooding, heavy rains that cause landslides, and other factors like heatstroke.
One of the world’s most populous nations has experienced numerous weather emergencies. China is currently experiencing its effects, as has been suggested by the scientific community. Floods and landslides have been induced across various parts of China by the numerous heavy downpours that have been falling since May. Billions of yuan worth of property damage and human and livestock deaths have resulted from these.
In some areas of the provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi, as well as in the Fujian province, weather bureaus have recorded record-breaking rainfall. Heat waves, which can cause temperatures to rise as high as 40 degrees Celsius, have begun to develop in the northern region of China.
The effects of the extreme heat are being felt by more than 64% of China’s 900 million+ population. Only two provinces in China’s northeastern region have not declared high-temperature warnings; the rest have. The most severe red alerts were issued last month in 84 cities.
Records-breaking temperatures were observed at 71 weather stations in China. In four cities—three in the province of Hebei and one in Yunnan—the National Climate Center recorded peaks of 44 degrees Celsius.
Covid and heat waves are a problem to China
Covid cases are increasing across the nation, which is already a pain; the intense heat only makes matters worse for the citizenry. The capacity of testing facilities is being challenged by the number of people who want to take the test.
Health workers who are fully equipped with PPE endure the most at the same time, especially because they must endure lines for a prolonged period of time outside. Online videos of frontliners passing out from the heat are common.
The effects of heat waves can be seen in power grids as well. The occurrence of power outages is also rising. There will soon be an increase in food prices as a result of the worsening crop production. The issue is still very much a problem, according to Yao Wenguang, a ministry of water resources official.
“It is predicted that from July to August, there will be more extreme weather events in China, and regional flood conditions and drought conditions will be heavier than usual,” he said during a media interview.
The most recent edition of the Blue Book on Climate Change was released by the China Meteorological Administration in August. China’s temperature is rising more rapidly than the average, according to the report. China experienced a faster increase in sea levels than the rest of the world between 1980 and 2020. While this is happening, the country’s surface temperature rises by 0.26 degrees Celsius every ten years.
“We should be really concerned because these extreme weather events actually affect the most underprivileged, disadvantaged and vulnerable parts of the population — those in the rural areas, or those who don’t have air conditioning or live in very crowded conditions,” said emeritus professor at the City University of Hong Kong, Johnny Chan.
Chinese communities experience $238 billion in losses each year as a result of cyclones, floods, and droughts. The Asia Pacific region has the highest figure, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Additionally, the damage is almost three times what Japan or India record each year. There has been a marked increase in heat-related deaths. The mortality rate quadrupled between 1990 and 2019—just three decades. A total of 26,800 people died as a result of heat waves in 2019.
Government officials and scientists were alarmed by flooding in cities and other regions of the nation. The leader of Greenpeace East Asia’s energy and climate projects, Liu Junyan, stated that “the central government and local governments started to be aware that climate change is such an enormous threat to society and its sustainable development.”
“Local governments still need to develop more detailed and tangible plans to implement this grand strategy,” Liu said.
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