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How Climate Whiplash Is Upending Life in Rural China

This summer, Jiangxi province suffered a record-breaking drought and high temperatures.

People in Jiangxi, especially farmers, suffered severe losses throughout the summer, when there was almost no rainfall. Dried-up rice fields, cotton fields, and fish ponds could be seen almost everywhere across the province. From an aerial view, we saw that China’s largest freshwater lake — Poyang Lake — turned into a cracked landscape, with only small muddy pools of water visible.

Experts warn that with global warming already underway, extreme events like these are likely to become a new normal.

In October of 2022, reporters from Sixth Tone and our sister publication The Paper paid a visit to Jiangxi, interviewed people making a living on the banks of Poyang Lake, and documented the historical drought and how it was affecting people’s lives.

Reporters: Liu Dong, Liu YuXiu, Wu Huiyuan and Huang Zhihan; video editors: Huang Zhihan, Wang Jiaying and Wu Huiyuan; story editor: Matthew Hall.

2023-01-20 11:22:15
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