Over a dozen cities in China have issued red alerts, which is the highest level of heat warning that can be given. As a result, millions of people in China are preparing for even hotter weather this weekend.
The Meteorological Administration of China forecasts that the temperature will rise beyond 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in 19 cities located within the provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian within the next 24 hours. These cities are located in the eastern region of China.
An orange alert, the second highest level of heat warning, has been issued for 208 additional cities and counties in China. This level denotes temperatures that are higher than 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).
This alert is in effect for certain regions in southern and eastern China, including portions of the provinces of Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, and Guangxi, as well as certain areas of Anhui and Henan.
The “Great Heat,” which occurs on Saturday and is traditionally the hottest day of the year according to the Chinese lunar calendar, is occurring at the same time as the current heatwave.
Since June, China has been struggling with persistently high temperatures. According to China’s National Climate Center, the country’s average temperature reached 22.1 degrees Celsius (almost 72 degrees Fahrenheit), which is the highest it has been since 1961.
During the past several weeks, at least 71 national weather stations in China have recorded temperatures that are recorded for that location. Temperatures of 44 degrees Celsius were recorded in four cities in the province of Hebei, one city in the province of Yunnan, and one city in the province of Shanxi (111 Fahrenheit).
During instances of extreme heat, the Central Meteorological Observatory of China has encouraged the general public to refrain from engaging in any activities that take place outside, to cut back on their work hours, and take precautions against heatstroke.
According to a study that was published in 2020 in the journal Lancet, the number of deaths that were caused by heat waves in China has substantially grown since 1990, reaching 26,800 in 2019.
The Chinese government issued a new policy document at the beginning of this year in an effort to improve its response to climate change, which it said was not only creating long-term challenges but also making the country more vulnerable to “sudden and extreme” events like heat waves, drought, and flooding.
“Climate change has already brought serious adverse impacts to China’s natural ecological system and has continued to spread and penetrate into economy and society,” as stated in the national climate change adaptation strategy developed by the government.
It pledged to make China a “climate-resilient society” by the year 2035, which it plans to accomplish by constructing a statewide system to monitor and assess climate hazards and by increasing the country’s early warning capabilities.