According to state media, a Chinese town recorded a temperature exceeding 52 degrees Celsius (126 Fahrenheit) on Sunday (July 16). This remarkable occurrence establishes a new record for a country that experienced temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius just six months ago.
Mercury hit 52.2 degrees Celsius in Sanbao township. The town is in China’s arid northwest in Xinjiang’s Tupan Depression. The news of record-break temperature was reported on Monday by state-run Xinjiang Daily. It is expected that the record heat would persist for at least another five days.
The temperature recorded on Sunday broke a previous record of 50.3 degrees Celsius. The previous record was set in 2015 near Ayding in the depression. Tupan Depression is a vast basin of sand dunes and dried-up lakes. It is more than 150 metres below sea level.
Since the month of April. Countries across the Asian continent have been hit by record-breaking heat. This has raised concerns about the countries’ ability to adapt to a rapidly changing climate. Climate experts reportedly say that the goal of limiting long term global temperature increase limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius is out of reach.
Prolonged months of high temperatures in China have affected power grids and crops. Concerns of repeat of possible repeat of last year’s drought are mounting. The drought was most severe in 60 years.
China is no stranger to dramatic swings in temperatures across the seasons but the swings are getting wider.
On Jan. 22, temperatures in Mohe, a city in northeastern Heilongjiang province, plunged to minus 53C, according to the local weather bureau, smashing China’s previous all-time low of minus 52.3C set in 1969.
Since then, the heaviest rains in a decade have hit central China, ravaging wheat fields in an area known as the country’s granary.
This week, the United States and China are looking to rekindle efforts to fight global warming, with U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry in Beijing holding talks with his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua.