North China Bakes Under Searing Heatwave

BEIJING – An extreme heat warning was issued in Beijing on June 11 as temperatures soared across northern China, mirroring record highs seen across the northern hemisphere. China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is experiencing the impacts of climate change, which scientists say are driving longer and hotter heatwaves.

Authorities in Beijing issued an orange alert for extreme heat, the second-highest level in a four-tier system, warning that temperatures could climb as high as 37°C in some parts of the capital. The municipal government urged residents to limit outdoor activities, stay hydrated, and monitor vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly for signs of heatstroke.

High temperatures of up to 42°C are forecast to persist across northern, north-western, and central regions, including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shaanxi, Hubei, Inner Mongolia, and Xinjiang, until Friday, according to the national weather office. Meanwhile, heavy downpours are expected further south, with up to 70mm of rain predicted for parts of Yunnan and Guizhou provinces on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Last month was recorded as the hottest May ever and marked the 12th consecutive month of historic heat, as reported by the EU climate monitor. Countries across the northern hemisphere are facing sweltering heatwaves as summer approaches. In India, the top weather expert announced that the current heatwave is the longest ever recorded, with parts of the country experiencing temperatures above 45°C since mid-May. India is also a significant emitter of greenhouse gases.

The western United States has also seen record heat for this time of year, while Cyprus recently suspended outdoor work and food delivery services as temperatures soared to 43°C. The ongoing heatwaves highlight the urgent need for global efforts to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts.