Weeks of extreme heat have hit China’s power supply and crops – The Irish Times

Extreme heat in China wreaked havoc on crops and power supplies on Wednesday, as authorities in the Yangtze River Basin scrambled to limit climate change damage to crops and livestock.

The southwestern region of Chongqing has been hit particularly hard by weeks of hot, dry weather.

According to a resident, his water and electricity had been cut off after a four-day mountain fire in the Jiangjin district. “People have to go to a power center more than 10 kilometers away to charge their phone,” he said.

Chongqing’s agriculture bureau has drawn up emergency measures to protect livestock at more than 5,000 large-scale pig farms, which have faced “severe challenges” due to the heat, officials said. official media.

Crop damage and water shortage could “spread to other food-related sectors, leading to a substantial price increase or a food crisis in the worst case,” said Lin Zhong, a professor at the City University of Hong Kong which studied the impact. of climate change on agriculture in China.

China’s National Meteorological Center lowered its national heat warning to “orange” on Wednesday after 12 consecutive days of “red alerts”, but temperatures are still expected to exceed 40 degrees in Chongqing, Sichuan and other parts of the basin. Yangtze.

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

China, the world’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming, has pledged to peak carbon dioxide by 2030 and become “carbon neutral” by 2060, and it is also racing ahead in the development of renewable energies.

But the drought has eroded hydropower generation and coal-fired power is on the rise again, with power plants in Anhui province increasing output by 12% compared to normal years. —Reuters

Rosemary C. Kearney