According to Chinese weather authorities, Beijing has experienced its hottest June day in over 60 years, with temperatures reaching 41.1°C (105.9°F). The city is currently in the midst of a prolonged heatwave, expected to persist until the end of June.Officials declared this as the hottest June day since record-keeping began in 1961. China has witnessed multiple monthly heat records being broken this year, raising concerns about an energy crunch.
Last month, Shanghai, China’s largest city with a population of 25 million, recorded its hottest May day in a century. Beijing, the nation’s capital with over 21 million residents, saw a high of 41.8°C (107.2°F) in the northern part of the city.
An orange alert, the second-most severe weather warning, was issued, with temperatures expected to reach 39°C (102.2°F) until Saturday. The national weather bureau issued an early heatstroke alert compared to previous years.
Local authorities in Beijing, Tianjin, and other cities in northern and eastern China advised people to limit outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day, seek medical assistance if showing symptoms of heatstroke, and reduce electricity usage.
To address potential large-scale power outages, the National Energy Administration conducted its first-ever emergency drill in China’s eastern region, simulating a power surge and outage. Power grid security was deemed “relatively severe” by the agency.
In Tianjin, a port city, increased air conditioning demand led to a 23% higher load on the power grid compared to last year. Local utility workers conducted regular patrols in underground tunnels to ensure proper functioning of electric cables.
These extreme temperatures and frequent heatwaves are attributed to global climate change. A recent study found that climate change has made heatwaves 30 times more likely in Asia, with temperatures rising by at least 2°C in many parts of the region. Countries like Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, and India have witnessed record-breaking temperatures of up to 45°C (113°F) in April, resulting in deaths, hospitalizations, infrastructure damage, and other adverse effects.
Heatwaves are considered one of the deadliest natural hazards globally, causing thousands of deaths each year.