China’s Key Cities Face Future Risk From Hotter, Longer Summers

The temperature rise in some parts of China’s major metropolitan areas could reach 2.6 degrees Celsius by 2100 and extend summer by about a month in those regions, according to Greenpeace East Asia.

An analysis of potential impacts from extreme heat and rainfall found higher climate risks in three of China’s major city clusters -- Beijing, Shanghai and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen area. There’s also a quickly rising threat to communities further out, the environmental group said in a report published Wednesday.

Assuming that global emissions reach a peak around 2040, the “intermediate scenario” described by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Beijing’s metropolitan area would experience the highest temperature increase with an average increase of 2.2°C to 2.4°C. Shanghai, the Pearl River Delta and the Guangdong-Shenzhen area, which houses one of China’s biggest manufacturing hubs, would see rains as much as 25% heavier than before.

China needs to take urgent steps “to identify the risks and identify at-risk groups and regions,” said Liu Junyan, a Greenpeace campaigner who co-authored the report. “It also needs to enhance the interface of science and policy, the climate resiliency of its facilities and cooperation between government departments.”

Beijing this week issued a yellow alert as it braces for flooding caused by the heaviest rainfall of the year, which started on Sunday afternoon. The city shut down some tourist sites and schools, and canceled hundreds of flights at its airports. The rain lasted for 36 hours in some parts. Other northern provinces, including Inner Mongolia and Liaoning, also issued alerts for rainstorms and floods.

Earlier this month, China’s National Climate Center warned of dangerous floods and droughts this summer. According to the center, in some regions precipitation is estimated to be as much as 50% higher than normal and the average temperatures for the first half of the year were the highest since 1961.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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