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China hit by unprecedented heat waves
Zhou Tong
9/14/2003



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According to Chinese meteorologists, early this summer, from June 1st to August 2nd, a large part of China experienced high temperatures. The only regions in China that experienced cooler than normal temperatures was a small area of northern China between the Huang and Huai rivers, the southern part of northeastern China, and eastern Tibet. The rest of the country was impacted by a heat wave that was unprecedented in its duration.

After the Summer Solstice, Fujian Province experienced unprecedented high temperatures and drought. There now have been new record high temperatures in almost half of the cities and counties in Fujian Province.

According to the Jiangxi Province government, Jiangxi also experienced high temperatures and drought. Some rivers and 1,317 small reservoirs dried out and in some places people and animals lack drinkable water.

The high temperature has continued in the Huang River and at the downstream areas of the Yangtze River. The highest daily temperatures in some places to the south of the Yangtze River range from 39 to 41 degrees Celsius. Thunderstorms occasionally occur in some local areas. In Shanghai, there has been more than 20 days this year where the temperature exceeded record highs.

This summer Guangdong Province has had the hottest weather it has ever recorded. Such continuous high temperatures, with low precipitation, a high evaporation rate and historically high temperatures have rarely been seen in history. The highest and average temperatures in almost all counties throughout Guangdong Province set new records. The number of days in which temperatures exceeded 35 degrees Celsius was second to none in fifty years.

Continuous high temperatures resulted in a severe drought. A heat wave lasting 40 days brought a drought to Fujian Province. By the end of July 2003, 9.33 million mu (Chinese unit of area, 1 mu = 0.167 acre) of farmland had been hit by the drought, and over 350 thousand mu of farmland ended up without harvest. It was the most severe drought Jiangxi Province has experienced since 1953.

By July 31st, 2003, 980 million mu of farmland in 11 provinces, including Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang and Fujian suffered from drought; 290 million mu experienced a water shortage, more than 8.65 million people in cities and villages had no drinkable water and 3.89 million livestock lacked water. Data from August 3rd indicates that the drought has been very severe in Fujian, the south central part of Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, northern and eastern Guangdong, and northern Guangxi Province.

Continuous high temperatures resulted in an outbreak of blue-green algae in Tai Lake. In early July, blue algae had showed up in a few areas of Tai Lake and had quickly spread by the end of July. It was found that at the conjunction of Mailiang Lake and Tai Lake, every milliliter of lake water contains 40 to 50 million blue-green algae.

This is the fifth consecutive year of high temperatures. This year the impacted areas have extended to most of China. Both farming and people’s lives have been severely affected. Natural calamities are warning and foretelling. Five years of high temperature and drought cannot be explained by one or several contrived reasons. These calamities all started right before or after the persecution of Falun Gong, and have so far lasted the entire duration of the persecution.

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