Its largest lake is so dry that China is digging deep to water its crops

BEIJING (AP) — As a severe drought shrunk China’s largest freshwater lake to just 25% of its normal size, workers dug trenches to keep water flowing through one of China’s major rice-growing regions. I’m here.

The dramatic decline of Poyang Lake in the landlocked southeastern province of Jiangxi would have otherwise cut off irrigation channels to nearby farmlands. I work only after dark. heat wave during the daythe official Xinhua News Agency reported.

A severe heat wave is wreaking havoc across much of southern China. High temperatures sparked wildfires, forced the evacuation of 1,500 people in the southwest, and factories were ordered to halt production. Hydroelectric power plants reduce output in drought. Due to extreme heat and drought, Wilted crop When shrunken river Disrupting freight traffic, including across the mighty Yangtze River.

Poyang Lake, fed by China’s major rivers, averages about 3,500 square kilometers (1,400 square miles) during high season, but has shrunk to just 737 square kilometers (285 square miles) in recent droughts.

Judging by water levels, the lake officially entered its dry season on August 6, the earliest since records began in 1951. level of recent history.

The lake not only provides water for agriculture and other uses, but is also a major stopping point for migratory birds heading south in the winter.

Over large swaths of western and central China, a series of days with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) led to earlier-than-usual and longer-lasting heatwaves.

The heat is likely related to human-induced climate change, but scientists have yet to perform complex calculations or computer simulations, so they are confident of that.

Maarten van Aalst, director of the Climate Center of the Dutch Red Cross and Red Crescent Society, said: “The heat is indeed record-breaking and is certainly being exacerbated by human-induced climate change. Drought is always a little more complicated.”

Jennifer Francis, a climate scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts, said the “truly staggering temperatures that will burn China to the ground” are the result of stagnant jet streams (rivers of air that power the world’s weather systems). ) was said to be related to

She said a stagnant strip of relatively high atmospheric pressure in western Russia was responsible for this year’s heatwaves in both China and Europe. are preventing entry into this area.

“Continued hot and dry conditions help the soil dry out more, further strengthening the overhead heat dome,” said Francis.

In the hard-hit city of Chongqing, some shopping malls have been told to only open from 4pm to 9pm to save energy. Residents have sought rest in the coolness of World War II-era bunkers.

that is Europe and other situations In the northern hemisphere, high temperatures are taking a toll on public health, food production and the environment.


Contributed by Seth Borenstein, Science Writer, Associate Press, Washington, DC.


For more information on AP’s climate coverage, please visit: