The drought in China revealed itself in dramatic images after the longest heatwave on record

The drought in China revealed itself in dramatic images after the longest heatwave on record

The drought in China revealed itself in dramatic images after the longest heatwave on record

These startling images show the impact of China’s unprecedented drought as the country battles an extreme heat wave.

The scorching heatwave, which lasted over 70 days, is the longest and most widespread ever recorded in the country and has left parts of the Yangtze River and dozens of other tributaries dry.

This has severely impacted China’s hydroelectric capacity and caused continued electricity blackouts, while there are also concerns about the impact the heatwave is having on crops.

The southwestern region of Chongqing has been hit particularly hard, with one resident, Zhang Ronghai, saying that both its water and electricity had been cut after a four-day fire in the mountains in Jiangjin District.

“People have to go to a power center more than 10 km (6 miles) away to charge their phones,” Zhang said.

On Wednesday, images shared on China’s Twitter-like Weibo service showed residents and volunteers in Chongqing and Sichuan struggling and even fainting from intense heat during mandatory Covid-19 testing.

People walk along the dry bed of the Jialing River, a tributary of the Yangtze (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

People walk along the dry bed of the Jialing River, a tributary of the Yangtze (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Damage to crops and water scarcity could “spread to other food-related sectors, causing a substantial price increase or a food crisis in the worst case,” said Lin Zhong, a professor at City University of Hong Kong who has studied the impact of climate change on agriculture in China.

China has warned that it is particularly vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters are expected to proliferate in the coming years due to more unstable weather conditions.

Cracked dry mud is seen in a community reservoir in Longquan Village in Chongqing Municipality in southwestern China (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Cracked dry mud is seen in a community reservoir in Longquan Village in Chongqing Municipality in southwestern China (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

As the drought dragged on, state media turned their attention to the impact of climate change on other countries.

“Climate change is once again a wake-up call for the world,” the official newspaper of China’s corruption control body said Tuesday, adding that in recent weeks, heatwaves and harmful droughts have hit Europe. Africa and North America.

Gan Bingdong is located in a community reservoir basin near his farm in Longquan Village (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Gan Bingdong is located in a community reservoir basin near his farm in Longquan Village (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

China, the world’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from global warming, has pledged to peak CO2 before 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060, and is also racing ahead in energy development. renewable.

But drought has eroded hydroelectric power generation, and coal-fired power is on the rise again, with plants in Anhui province increasing production by 12% over normal years.

People sit in a shallow pool of water in the bed of the Jialing River, a tributary of the Yangtze, in southwest China's Chongqing (AP) Municipality

People sit in a shallow pool of water in the bed of the Jialing River, a tributary of the Yangtze, in southwest China’s Chongqing (AP) Municipality

Li Shuo, Greenpeace’s climate consultant in Beijing, warned that energy shortages “could easily be used as an argument for building more coal-fired power plants,” but said a summer of extremes around the world could lead to take more actions.

Additional reporting by AP

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