China logs 52.2 deg C as extreme weather rewrites records

A remote township in China’s arid north-west is experiencing temperatures exceeding 52 deg C on Sunday, revealed by state media, gaining a record for a nation that was dealing with minus 50 deg C weather around six months before. Temperatures in Sanbao township in Xinjiang’s Turpan Depression went as high as 52.2 deg C on Sunday, reported state-run Xinjiang Daily on Monday, with the record heat expected to continued for at least another five days.

The Sunday temperature shattered a past record of 50.3 deg C measured in 2015 near Ayding in the depression, a vast basin of sand dunes and dried-up lakes at more than 150m below sea level. Since April, nations across Asia have been experiencing so much intolerable heat, raising concerns about their ability to adapt to this scorching changing climate. The target of keeping long-term global warming to within 1.5 deg C is becoming unapproachable, climate experts say. Extremely long bouts of high temperatures in China have caused issues to power grids and crops, and concerns are raising related to an expected repeat of 2022’s drought, the most dangerous in 60 years.

China has been dealing with dramatic changes in temperature across the seasons, but the swings are getting wider. On Jan 22, temperatures in Mohe, a city in north-eastern Heilongjiang province, hung to minus 53 deg C, data revealed by the local weather bureau, smashing China’s previous all-time low of minus 52.3 deg C set in 1969.  Since then, the heaviest downpours in 10 years have hit central China, destroying wheat fields in an area known as the nation granary.