After India, Europe and America, China has become the latest region to come under the grips of a massive heatwave.
This is China’s most intense heatwave in more than 60 years. It has affected the country’s agriculture, trade and economy.
Chinese authorities have attributed the current heatwave and drought to climate change. The Chinese government has categorised the country as "a sensitive region in global climate change."
While it has committed to becoming "carbon neutral" by 2060, it has turned to coal during the recent global energy crisis.
On August 23rd, China’s National Meteorological Centre issued a red alert warning for the southern part of the country. This came after the area registered high-temperature warnings for 34 days in a row.
The heatwave has been accompanied by a massive drought which has affected half of China’s total landmass. The drought has dried up various water sources in the country leading to a shortage of drinking water
The most damaging effect of this can be seen in the Yangtze River Basin. Around 370 million people live near this basin, which also supplies drinking water to 400 million.
To add to this, the country has also seen forest fires and flash floods.
Government data shows that the high temperatures in July have caused direct economic losses of 400 million dollars, affecting 5.5 million people.
The droughts in various river basins have impacted hydropower generation. With large dams facing water shortages, the government had to resort to power cuts.
China’s autumn harvest is also under “severe threat” and people have been advised to use water carefully.
Meanwhile, the shrinking of the Yangtze river has led to the closing of shipment ways which could impact trade