China to witness drought-like situations in coming years: Study

Sep 23, 2022

Beijing [China], September 23 : The Chinese mainland has been under a massive grip of severe heatwaves and drought throughout summer and there is a possibility that the country will continue to experience moderate to severe drought-like situations in the coming years, impacting the socio-economic condition of the country, said a combined study of scientists from the US-based University of Texas and China-based Tsinghua University.
The report warned if Beijing did not put a curb on its carbon emissions, it would see water scarcity in days to come.
Approximately 66 rivers across 34 counties in China's southwestern region of Chongqing dried up and crops in 10 districts of the region were poorly affected due to the harsh heatwaves, JustEarth news reported citing China Central Television (CCTV).
The high temperature also led to massive forest fires in the region and caused the forced evacuation of 1,500 people.
Between 2019 and 2021, China's carbon emissions increased by 750 metric tons, said a study.
According to Statista, a German-based company specializing in market and consumer data, there are a total of 3,037 coal-fired power stations in China of which, more than 400 units are operational in the country's Shandong province alone.
China is suffering from its worst heat wave in decades, which has strained its power supply. In various regions of China, citizens have witnessed record-breaking heat waves amid severe droughts. Scorching temperatures have disrupted crop growth and are threatening livestock.
Besides, the temperatures soared in the range of 39-42 degree Celsius in eastern Zhejiang province and the city of Shanghai (China's central coast), Jianxi (southern China) and Fujian (south-eastern China).
With a reduction in rainfall, water levels in hydroelectric power reservoirs have dropped, curtailing energy production. Even the factories have to suffer due to these extreme conditions.
The Sichuan province, which has 94 million people, ordered all factories in mid-August to shut down for six days in an effort to ease power shortages in the region. The shutdowns came after reservoir levels declined and demand for air conditioning spiked amid the heat, reported Financial Post.
The shutting down of factories has sparked concerns over China's main manufacturing hubs. Power rationing in parts of China has impacted "normal production."
Moreover, the heatwave had a significant impact on the economy of the country as China's steel, chemical and fertilizer industries are already experiencing a slowdown in production.
The main reason behind China's heat wave is its carbon emission. China, in the two decades of its breakneck growth, became the largest polluter in the world releasing over 10,065 million tons of Carbon (CO2), according to Financial Post.
It contributes more than 30 per cent of the total global carbon emissions as compared to 15 per cent of the US, 5 per cent of Russia and 4 per cent of Japan.