China Logs Hottest August Since Records Began

China has logged its hottest August since records began, state media reported Tuesday, following an unusually intense summer heat wave that parched rivers, scorched crops and triggered isolated blackouts.

Southern China last month sweltered under what experts said may have been one of the worst heat waves in global history, with parts of Sichuan province and the megacity of Chongqing clocking a string of days well over 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

The average temperature nationwide was 22.4C in August, exceeding the norm by 1.2C, citing the country’s weather service.

Some 267 weather stations across the country matched or broke temperature records last month, the report said.

It was also China’s third-driest August on record, with average rainfall 23.1 percent lower than average.

“The average number of high-temperature days was abnormally high, and regional high-temperature processes are continuing to impact our country,” CCTV reported the weather service as saying.

Scientists say extreme weather like heat waves, droughts and flash floods is becoming more frequent and intense due to human-induced climate change.

Last month, temperatures as high as 45C prompted multiple Chinese provinces to impose power cuts as cities battled to cope with a surge in electricity demand partly driven by people cranking up the air conditioning.

Images from Chongqing showed a tributary of the mighty Yangtze river had almost run dry, a scene echoed further east where the waters of China’s largest freshwater lake also receded extensively.

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