Reuters | | Posted by Akanksha Agnihotri, Beijing
Tourists flocked to China’s scenic Flaming Mountains this week to experience searing high temperatures amid punishing heatwaves that have scorched much of the Northern Hemisphere. Armed with broad-brimmed hats and umbrellas for added protection, tourists took selfies by a 12-metre-tall thermometer that displayed a real-time surface temperature of 80 Celsius (176 Fahrenheit), Chinese state television showed on Wednesday.
Each summer, curious tourists gather at the Flaming Mountains on the northern rim of the Turpan Depression in Xinjiang to admire their corrugated slopes of brown-red sandstone and feel the super-charged heat emanating from the ground. In recent days, temperatures in Xinjiang and other parts of Asia, as well as Europe and the United States have shattered records, adding new urgency for nations around the globe to tackle climate change that scientists say will make heatwaves more frequent, severe and lethal.
On Sunday, a remote township in the Turpan Depression registered a maximum temperature of 52.2C, smashing China’s national record of 50.3C that was also set in the basin in 2015. On that day, the oasis city of Turpan west of the Flaming Mountains recorded temperatures of more than 45C at 31 local weather stations, with five of them breaking above 50C, according to state media on Wednesday.
Farmers in Xinjiang, one of the world’s biggest producers of cotton, have been told to step up watering and irrigation to prevent their crops from withering in the scorching sun. On Wednesday, Beijing logged its 28th day of temperatures of more than 35C, setting a new record for the most number of high-temperature days in a year, a milestone that was last broken just a day earlier.
As the sweltering heat baked the country’s north and northwest, China and the United States – the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters – have been holding intense, marathon talks in Beijing this week on fighting climate change. U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said on Tuesday that climate change was a global issue – “a threat to all of humankind.”
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.