‘Severe’ heatwave in China puts autumn harvest at risk

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Beijing: A “severe” heatwave has gripped China and consequently, the drought is putting the autumn harvests at risk, Chinese state media reported.
Economists are concerned about the impact of a lasting drought on autumn harvest, which accounts for 75 per cent of China’s total grain output. The harvesting time is about 50 days away. Given the situation, China is ramping up efforts to alleviate drought amid extreme weather conditions, which calls for an ’emergency energy option’.

While speaking with Global Times, Sun Shao, a senior research fellow from the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, said that mid-late August is a key period for autumn grain crops to grow in the middle and lower stream of the Yangtze River and that the persisting heat wave plus drought will reduce the yield of crops such as corn and soybean.
According to the latest number from the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR), 32.99 million arable lands were affected by the drought.
Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs held a conference on Friday saying that local governments should continue to spray drought-resistant and water-retaining agents in areas lacking irrigation and watering conditions. For the more severely affected areas, localities should harvest early and develop regenerated rice or late-autumn crops.
Meanwhile, Europe, which is also experiencing extreme heat and drought, is also seeking help from coal power plants.
As persistent severe heatwaves and droughts unseen in decades continue to test China’s power generation capacity and autumn harvests, relevant government departments have ramped up multiple efforts to ensure power supply and alleviate the impact of the extreme weather on harvest.

On Sunday, China’s Central Meteorological Center (CMC) continues to issue red alert – the highest in China’s four-tier weather warning system for extreme heat – marking the tenth consecutive day for the agency to publish such an alarm.
More than 200 meteorological monitoring stations across the country show temperature in places including Southwest China’s Chongqing, Sichuan, East China’s Zhejiang and Northwest Shaanxi exceeded 40 C since August 1, media reported.
Meanwhile, some provincial capitals, including Nanjing and Nanchang, did not see a single drop of rain since August. Sichuan, a province which relies on hydropower for approximately 80 per cent of its energy supply, is experiencing the most extreme heat wave, and least precipitation in history. The province initiated a top emergency response to ensure energy supply since Sunday. (ANI)

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