High temperatures and rare drought in southern China place crops at risk

Hot weather and high temperatures continue across China, with temperatures in many provinces and cities breaking records, the highest since record-keeping began. Continuous high temperatures accompanied by drought have caused the Changjiang River to go dry even though this is flood season. The crop production of rice and maize is very difficult.

In 2021 China exported 2,200 metric tins or rice. The high temperatures and droughts will cause further difficulties for the world’s food supply chain. 

China’s “Daily Economic News” reported that, from 11 am to 4 pm on August 13, data from 2,418 national observation stations in China showed a list of the top ten places with the temperature exceeding 108.5 F or 42.5 C, including cities and provinces such as Chongqing, Hubei, Shanxi, and Sichuan.

Yubei County, Chongqing City showed the highest temperature of 119.48 F or 48.6 C, and the highest temperature in this city’s Wanzhou district also reached 114 F or 46 C, making people exclaim that they had never heard of such a high temperature.

According to the same newspaper, on August 14, Jiangsu province predicted that the surface temperature would reach a whopping maximum of 161.6 F or 72 C.

According to Vision Times, the worry is that the devastation of high temperatures will not subside when the fall arrives.

In contrast to the extreme heat and drought in the South, torrential rains in the North have caused disasters.

Qingdao News reported that at around 7 am on August 12, heavy rain hit Qingdao City, Shandong province, turning roads into rivers.

China’s meteorological forecast shows that from August 15 to August 16, heavy rain or heavy storms will occur in the areas of Liaoning, southeast Jilin, eastern Yunnan, southern Guangxi, central and western Guangdong with a rainfall of 4 to 9 inches or 100 to 242 mm.

In contrast, according to NetEase, the rainfall accumulation in many areas of the Changjiang River’s southern basin is generally less than 0.4 inches or 10mm, meaning hot weather and little rain will continue.

The main rain belt is in the north, and rainfall in the south is much less, which is a very rare phenomenon. Vision Times said, assessing the abnormal rainfall nationwide in the past 10 days, this rate in many places in the Changjiang River basin is less than 80% to 100%, this is an extremely low level, and the water level of many lakes and rivers continues to decrease.

August, supposed to be the Changjiang River’s flood season, but the constant high temperatures and drought caused the river to dry up revealing a Buddha statue

According to Sina, due to the lower water level in the Changjiang River, recently, a nearly 600-year-old Liangmoya Buddha statue in Chongqing, which was submerged for many years, is now exposed on the river’s surface.

Sohu said, as of 8 am on August 12, seven rivers in Chongqing had stopped flowing, one reservoir dried up, 476 electric wells lacked water, 276,000 people and 82,400 steers had temporary difficulty getting water due to drought. 

Hankou, Wuhan, has had the lowest water level since 1954. At the southern mouth of the collision zone where the Changjiang River meets its largest tributary, the Han River, a large sandbar is exposed, and the hydraulic base of the riverbank also dries up.

In Jiujiang, a city located on the south bank of the Changjiang River, the water level of the river’s mainstream, Dongting Lake, and Poyang Lake were 15.4 to 18.7 feet or 4.7 to 5.7 meters lower than the same period last year, which is the lowest level since real measurement records appeared.

In Nanjing City, Jiangsu province, at 8 am on August 13, the water level at Changjiang River Station was only 16 feet or 4.9 meters, and a vast riverbank of the Changjiang River was quickly exposed. In particular, the lowest tide level reached 12.8 feet or 3.92 meters on August 9, this is the second lowest tide in its history.

According to Sina, the monitoring results show that from the beginning of August until now, the total water area of ​​Anhui province is about 2260 square miles or 5,854.1 square kilometers, about 464 square miles or 1,202.9 square kilometers less than that in May.

Extremely high temperatures have impacted the agricultural economy

Yangtse reported that, in the dragon fruit greenhouse on a farm in Cifu village, Maoshan town, Jurong district, Jiangsu province, the branches that were supposed to be green turned yellow because all the soft tissue was baked at high temperatures.

This farm has grown more than 80 acres of dragon fruit; this time should be the dragon fruit bumper crop season. In previous years, many visitors came to the farm to pick dragon fruit. But now, the farm is deserted, without a shadow of a single tourist.

Farm managers worry that their efforts will be in vain if they don’t get any rain. 

According to Sina, currently, the summer-autumn rice crop in Huanan, Jiangnan, is preparing to flower, and some early ripening varieties are preparing to bloom. The late two-crop rice is in the tillering stage. Mid-season rice harvest in southwestern China has begun. Most are entering the seedling stage, while some are in the flowering stage, which is the most sensitive stage to temperature and water. The continuous high temperatures will be detrimental to the yields of rice and maize crops, a reduction in fall crop yields is inevitable.

Currently, the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hubei, have issued warnings about the risk of high temperatures to fall cereal crops; and Anhui province has launched a high-level emergency response to major meteorological disasters and called for efforts to ensure the safety of fall cereal production.

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