Several major Chinese cities had their hottest August days on record.
China had its hottest August since the beginning of its surveys in 1961, after weeks of a heat wave of unprecedented magnitude that was to recur and which jeopardized the harvests.
Midsummer heat waves are not unusual in China, especially in the arid west and south of the country. But the Asian giant is facing extreme weather this year, exacerbated by global warming, scientists say.
Last month, the average temperature in China was 22, 4°C, state broadcaster CCTV said on Tuesday, citing weather services. This exceeds the previous all-time high for the country by 1.2°C.
In August, some 267 monitoring stations across China equaled or broke temperature records, according to the channel.
This summer, the number of hot days was abnormally high. high, the weather services said on the channel, adding that the consequences continued to be felt.
Several major cities recorded the hottest days in their history and, due to lack of rainfall, many rivers dried up, such as the country's largest river, the Yangtze.
The temperatures have since fallen. But the climatic conditions weakened the electricity network, at a time when millions of inhabitants were turning on their air conditioning.
Several provinces had to ration the current, which heavily affected penalized activity and businesses, but also the habits of part of the population.
Sichuan (southwest) was one of the hardest hit regions last month.
To save energy, the provincial capital Chengdu had reduced lights in the metro and turned off its billboards. Locally, the electricity was even cut for some residents in Sichuan.
Many took refuge during the day in shopping centers or the subway to find a cool spot .
August was also the third driest month on record in the country, with average rainfall 23.1 percent lower than usual, according to CCTV.
This drought now puts crops at risk.
This is a warning, said an official from the China Climate Center, Zhang Daquan.
This heat wave is a reminder that we must have a deeper understanding of climate change and its impact, said this official quoted by People's Daily, organ of the ruling Communist Party.
< p class="e-p">On Tuesday, a Chinese weather service official warned that higher than usual temperatures are expected in China throughout September.
< p class="e-p">The drought is particularly problematic for rice and soybean crops, which are very water-intensive.
Last month, half of the vast Chinese territory was affected to varying degrees by a lack of rainfall.
This gigantic area, which has a total population of more than 370 million, mainly followed the course of the Yangtze River, a precious source drinking water.
In this context, the government has released a special envelope of 10 billion yuan (nearly e 1.97 billion Canadian dollars) to support farmers in the face of drought.