Major Chinese cities have issued heat advisories, with Beijing sweltering in 36 Celsius temperatures yesterday, as China braces for record-breaking heat that could threaten electricity supply, crops and a fragile economy.
China has suffered from heat waves in several regions since March. Yunnan, known for its mild weather, recently saw temperatures of more than 40 Celsius, putting a huge burden on the power grid as millions of homes switched on air-cons.
Shandong and Beijing have issued heat warnings while Jinan and Tianjin in the north and centrally located Zhengzhou, are expected to see temperatures soar to as high as 37 degrees.
The heat waves are occurring ahead of the regular summer season, which is particularly worrying for agriculture.
Crop damage could drive up food prices, exacerbate inflation and put pressure on the economy as it tries to rebound from a Covid
policy that stunted growth.
Yunnan had only 35 millimetres of rain for the year to April 20, state broadcaster CCTV reported recently with rainfall in the provincial capital of Kunming less than 8 mm, the lowest since records began.
The heat could again put pressure on water reserves.
Last year, a two-month stretch of record-breaking temperatures caused major rivers and waterways to dry up, severely impacting the Yangtze River.