Subscribe to our newsletter

     By signing up, you agree to our Terms Of Use.


    • About Us
    • |
    • Contribute
    • |
    • Contact Us
    • |
    • Sitemap

    China Experiences an Unusually Warm March

    Temperatures in several cities have soared to record seasonal highs, as scientists warn climate change will only exacerbate the issue.
    Mar 10, 2023#climate change

    Many parts of China have been hit by unusually warm temperatures this week with the mercury in several cities climbing to record seasonal highs on Thursday, as scientists warn of more frequent occurrences of extreme weather this year due to global climate change.

    Six cities, including Shijiazhuang, Jinan, Beijing, Tianjin, Shenyang, and Changchun saw their temperatures hitting a record high for early March on Friday, according to the China Meteorological Administration.

    Local meteorological data showed that Zhengzhou in the central Henan province saw its highest temperature surpass 30 degrees Celsius on Thursday afternoon, while Shahe, Gaoyi, Yongnian, and Handan in the neighboring Hebei province also witnessed higher than average temperatures for the season.

    “For many central and eastern regions, the weather is even warmer than the usual level in May,” the China Meteorological Administration said Friday.

    The unseasonal warm temperatures come after China’s worst heat wave since 1961 last summer, with 267 weather stations measuring temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius. The blistering heat wave triggered a myriad of disastrous events, ranging from wildfires and power crunches to agricultural disruptions.

    Jia Xiaolong, deputy director of the National Climate Center, said during a February news conference that China would witness another year of extreme weather in 2023. He warned that the climate crisis would only get worse in the next decade, resulting in extreme summers every two years in the country’s middle and eastern regions.

    Most parts of the eastern Zhejiang province have recorded daytime highs of 20 degrees Celsius on consecutive days since early March, which is said to be 10 degrees higher than the usual average. While images on social media showed visitors wearing T-shirts and eating ice cream at West Lake, the province’s iconic tourist spot in the capital Hangzhou, local media reported that a seven-year-old boy suffered from heatstroke while hiking on March 4.

    In the northeastern province of Jilin, the average temperature for the first eight days in March was 6.6 degrees Celsius higher than usual, the provincial climate center said Thursday. Meanwhile, precipitation accounted for less than 3% than usual for the same period.

    “The extreme weather will happen more frequently, last longer, and have a more severe impact as global warming has led to an unstable climate system,” Li Zhao, a climate risk researcher at Greenpeace East Asia, told Sixth Tone.

    Citing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States, Li said the El Niño meteorological phenomenon might also occur this summer, which would further complicate weather conditions.

    Parts of several provinces, including Yunnan and Guizhou in the southwest, and Jiangxi in the east, have already been grappling with long-term drought. Poyang Lake, the country’s largest freshwater lake, saw its water level drop to a record low of 6.67 meters on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, official data showed precipitation across the country was 4% lower than usual in February. Temperatures nationally, however, were 1.6 degrees Celsius higher.

    As a cold wave is likely to make temperatures drop this weekend, Li cautioned that the drastic change in weather could increase the chances of people catching colds. China is currently witnessing an uptick in flu cases, though the country’s top epidemiologist said that the numbers remained at pre-pandemic levels.

    “With its cascading effects, extreme weather could impact a lot of sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and health care,” Li said.

    Editor: Bibek Bhandari.

    (Header image: People walk on a street in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, March 9, 2023. VCG)