A Heat Wave that has Taken China by Surprise


Zhong Guilin/VCG via Getty Images

The bed of the Jialing river is exposed in Chongqing, China

All over the planet, there has been a heat wave affecting the environment and humanity, with China being a prime example of this.

China is dealing with its worst drought in decades. In Wuhan, China, the Yangtze River, one of Wuhans main ways of transporting supplies, has dropped to an all time low in water levels.

It dropped about 2.66 meters or about 8 feet in July 2021. Compared to this year, it has dropped about 7.68 meters or about 25 feet. This is leading to a domino effect of problems around the world.

One of the effects of the drought is a delay of goods being shipped out of cities. Waterways are so low that boats cannot go upstream or downstream to major shipping posts to drop off or pick up cargo. This is forcing China to send and disperse trucks to carry cargo around the country. While efficient, it is not systematic. The New York Times stated that, “A single ship can require 500 or more trucks to move its cargo.” In turn, creating more greenhouse gasses and doing more bad than good.

Another effect of the drought is hydroelectric dams are not producing enough energy. Sichuan, one of China’s biggest hydropower producers, producing about 30 percent of China’s hydroelectric energy, had its capacity cut in half. This left a huge delay in the industrial production of supplies such as electronic and car assembly plants.

The severe heat wave has brought forest fires, such as the one in Chongqing, a South Western city in China. Forest fires have been spreading and decimating the forest surrounding the city, with fires lighting the night sky and being visible from the downtown area.

Another issue this heat wave is causing is farmers suffering while harvesting crops. The drought has also caused worry for the autumn harvest. The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Affairs and four other departments have approved a 1.5 million fund to assist rice farmers for the future, knowing the harvest is not going to bring much revenue.

China is at a low point right now, and there is really nothing to do besides realize these are the effects of global warming.

China is not the only one suffering; the entire globe is suffering. This is not only alarming, but it is also a wake up call showing that the effects of global warming are tangible and are affecting society as a whole.