Parts of China are experiencing a deadly heatwave with record-breaking temperatures. There are reports of people cooking eggs and bacon in frying-pans on top of red-hot manhole-covers in the street. There is at least one seminal image online of a young Chinese boy enjoying a splash in water as the temperatures sizzle but for many the extreme heat will cause hardship.
China this year has had more than its fair share of weird wether with deadly flooding reported only weeks ago. The current UK hot weater is the hottest in July since 2006 but spare a thought for China where the heat is at its highest for 140 years!
If 2013 carries on as it has so far it may go down in history for many things including espionage, people protest, conflicts and weird or extreme weather. Those who still dismiss global warming and climate change need to wake up and smell the roses, whilst they still exist. The UK is currently experiencing its best summer temperatures for years but they did not start until July following on from a dire spring and early summer. The USA has had more weird weather than ever in 2013, parts of that country also experiencing heatwave conditions.
In China temperatures above 40C (104 F) have been recorded in at least 40 cities and counties, mostly in the south and east. Authorities for the first time have declared the heat a "level 2" weather emergency - a label normally invoked for typhoons and flooding.
Obviously first flooding and now extreme heat in China will cause damage to crops in the area and hit water levels. Vulnerable people in China such as the very young and very old will need to take extra care in such high temperatures. The Independent ie reports:
"It is just hot! Like in a food steamer!" 17-year-old student Xu Sichen said outside the doors of a shopping mall in the southern financial hub of Shanghai while her friend He Jiali, also 17, complained that her mobile phone had in recent days turned into a "grenade." He said: "I'm so worried that the phone will explode while I'm using it."
Being able to cook food on pavements or sidewalks is not unheard of but it is rare. It happens an odd day in many years but when the extreme hot weather persists it can cause many problems. How long the weather lasts and what weather immediately follows on is crucial. Once the earth is dry and scorched heavy rain will quickly cause flooding.
Whilst many people yearn for a good summer and hot dry weather it is all about extremes. Whether you think our weird weather in 2013 is down to climate change, global warming or strange weather cycles you have to admit this year is turning out to be a humdinger. If it is just weather cycles there may be little we can do but if it is global warming and, or, climate change we may be responsible and should make the necessary changes.
Is there still time to turn our weird weather around though or is it already too late?