Scientists say that rising global temperatures – caused largely by burning fossil fuels – increase the likelihood of extreme weather events such as the flash floods and heatwaves experienced in many Asian countries in recent weeks.
The floods coincided with record heatwaves in other parts of China, with the country’s National Meteorological Center warning residents in the capital Beijing and a dozen other regions to stay indoors with temperatures topping 35 degrees Celsius.
China recorded an average of 4.1 days in which temperatures exceeded 35 degrees every month in the first half of this year, the highest since national records began in 1961, according to a National Meteorological Center statement on Sunday.
In June, Beijing sweltered through a total of 14 days of temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius, matching the record set in July 2000, according to the state-run Beijing Evening News.
This week’s torrential rains in Chongqing represent one of the deadliest natural disasters to occur in China so far this year.
A deluge last November in the country’s northwestern Qinghai province claimed 16 lives, affecting more than 6,200 people from six villages, state media reported at the time.
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