China's Xinjiang warns of floods, cotton risks amid sizzling heatwaves

China's Xinjiang warns of floods, cotton risks amid sizzling heatwaves

 

 

China's Xinjiang on Saturday (Jul 23) warned of more flash floods and mudslides and risks to agriculture as heatwaves swept across the region, accelerating the pace of glacial melt and posing hazards for its vast cotton production.
 
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China has been baked by above-normal summer heat since June, with some meteorologists blaming climate change. The excessively hot weather has driven up demand for electricity to cool homes, offices and factories. In agricultural regions, drought has been a concern.
 
Xinjiang's latest heatwaves have been particularly long lasting and widespread, Chen Chunyan, chief expert at the Xinjiang Meteorological Observatory, told state media.
 
She noted the extreme weather in the south and east of the region, more than twice the size of France, has already lasted for about 10 days.
 
Ruoqiang in the southeast of Xinjiang activated a red alert - the highest in a three-tier heat warning system - on Friday evening, forecasting temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) or more for the next 24 hours.
 
In 2015, a local news portal reported 50.3 degrees Celsius at a weather station near Ayding, a dry lake in Xinjiang's Turpan Depression.
 
"Continued high temperature has accelerated glacial melting in mountainous areas, and caused natural disasters such as flash floods, mudslides, and landslides in many places," Chen said.
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