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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Heat wave, a long-term problem, is even greater danger than Covid to China’s economy

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(TibetanReview.net, Aug21’22) – China’s Central Meteorological Center (CMC) issued more red alerts for high temperatures today, the 10th consecutive day it has issued the red alert, reported the official globaltimes.cn Aug 21. China has been in continuous heat wave officially for the last 68 days, which is the longest heat wave on record since CMC started keeping records back in 1961, reported npr.org Aug 20. It cited more than 240 cities as saying this week that they forecasted temperatures to remain above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (which equals 40 degrees Celsius).

During the daytime on Aug 21, parts of Gansu, Shaanxi, Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Fujian, Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Yunnan, Guangdong and Guangxi provinces will experience high temperatures of 35 to 39 degrees Celsius, the official Xinhua news agency Aug 21 cited the center as saying.

In some areas of Shaanxi, Sichuan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Anhui, Jiangxi and Zhejiang, temperatures may exceed 40 degrees Celsius, the center has said.

It has also said the ongoing heatwaves that swept across large parts of China are forecast to wane gradually starting from Aug 26 with the expected arrival of autumn rain in western China. But global warming and therefore rising temperature remains a growing trend for the coming years, decades, and further on and so a continuing, long-term problem.

China has a four-tier, color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe warning, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

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So far, 32.99 million mu (21,993.3 sq km) of arable land has been affected by drought in nine provinces and municipalities including Sichuan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Anhui and Jiangxi, and water supply for 2.46 million people and 350,000 livestock has been affected, China’s state broadcaster CCTV has reported today.

China has been dealing with record-breaking temperatures this year since early July. The heat is so severe, some cities in southwestern China cut power to all factories this week, reported the npr.org Aug 20.

Sichuan Province, which has more than 80 million people, decided it was cutting off electricity to most factories for about seven days so they can ensure people would have power at home and the power grids wouldn’t overload, said the npr.org report.

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The on-and-off-again Covid restrictions have already brought severe pressure on China’s economy, throwing a wrench into global supply chains earlier this year, causing shipping and production delays worldwide, and hindering economic growth. And the prolonged heatwave could be even worse for the economy, opined the fortune.com Aug 20.

Some factories in China were able to remain open during pandemic lockdowns through the use of “closed loop” systems, where workers would isolate themselves at factories in order to continue operations. But these types of mitigation efforts aren’t possible in a heat wave, the report noted.


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