According to New York Times, China is currently grappling with unprecedented extreme weather in multiple regions. Record floods hit southern parts, displacing over half a million people while scorching heat buckling roads in the northern and central provinces.
Although summer floods are common in China, the National Climate Center forecast this year will witness relatively worse and more extreme flooding than before.
As reported by the ministry of water resources, water levels in a particular place in Guangdong province surpassed historical records this week. Neighboring provinces, such as Fujian and Guangxi, suffered record rainfall in some areas.
Consequently, more than half a million residents were evacuated in June due to flood threats. The estimated economic damage from the floods could reach more than a quarter of a billion dollars.
By contrast, millions of people in northern and central China are in the grips of extraordinary heat. With temperatures over 104 degrees Fahrenheit, local authorities require residents to stay at home.
In Henan, the weather is so hot, with ground temperatures as high as 165 degrees Fahrenheit, causing the asphalt to melt and crack. Ruptures on the roads resemble the aftermath of an earthquake.
In the meantime, electricity consumption surges to record highs in several northern cities since inhabitants crank up the air conditioning to gain some respite from the heat.
For example, Shangdong is the second-most populous province and home to more than 100 million people. Its power usage peaked at 93 million kilowatts on June 21, exceeding the 2020 high of 90 million kilowatts.
China Meteorological Administration states that extreme weather and climate events have become more frequent, severe, and widespread.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang warns that floods and heatwaves will threaten the production of staple grains, vegetables, and pork. He fears a surge in inflation.
The central economic planner estimates that extreme weather will cost China from 1 to 3% of its GDP annually.