The Azerbaijan State News Agency


Chinese farmers hit by floods and drought say extreme weather is getting worse

Baku, August 10, AZERTAC

First, temperatures soared for weeks on end, baking the Chinese capital in triple-digit heat. A month later, flooding from Beijing's worst storm in 140 years killed at least 20 people in and around the city, NBC news reported.

Summer in China so far has been a season of extremes, with the country lurching between stifling, unrelenting heat and heavy, monsoonal rainfall.

The Chinese Ministry of Emergency Management said Friday that 147 people were dead or missing because of natural disasters in July.

The bouts of extreme weather have taken a toll not just on China’s 1.4 billion population but also on the size of harvests in the world’s biggest food-producing country.

As the world warms, extreme events like those unfolding in China — and in the U.S. and other countries — are expected to become more common. With that prospect comes the worrying potential for widespread crop failures in major food-producing regions.

Most of China’s farming regions are under the monsoon influence, making them susceptible to meteorological disasters such as floods and drought. Farmers say the situation is getting worse as extreme weather events occur more often.

Flooding in Chongqing, a metropolis in China’s southwest almost 1,000 miles from Beijing, is not unprecedented in summer. But the intensity of the flooding in July prompted the country’s highest emergency alert as it killed at least 15 people, affected more than 13,000 others and damaged tens of thousands of acres of crops, including rice and corn.

Ran Chaoyin, a Chongqing farmer in his 30s, said only about one-fifth of the 1.3 acres of corn he had planted survived the deluge.

“I’ve worked as a farmer all my life, and this is not the first time I’ve had damage from floods,” he said. “But the damage this year is the worst.”

Ran also experienced extreme weather last summer, as persistent heat and drought swept through a large swath of southern China, almost drying up the country’s largest freshwater lake and taking a huge toll on crop yields.

“The drought here was very bad last year,” he said. “The crops almost reached harvest time and then they all dried up.”

Unexpected torrential rainfall hit the central province of Henan, China’s top wheat producer, right before harvest time in May. The prolonged downpours flooded wheat fields, causing pre-harvest sprouting and blight.

Wang Guirong, the director of the rural division of China’s National Bureau of Statistics, said last month that summer grain yield had fallen 0.9% compared with last year, the first such decrease in years, though he said the 146 million tons were still a “bumper harvest.” He said continuous rainfall in the northern wheat region, including Henan province, was to blame.

The opposite is happening in some parts of northern China, which have been gripped by scorching heat this summer. The record temperatures and dry spell have compromised the quality and quantity of crops suitable for harvest and sowing in summer, which is an important season for agriculture in those areas.

“A slight reduction in production will not have a major impact on the grain market,” Pan Wenbo, the director general of the ministry’s crop production department, said July 21. “The current market price of wheat is also basically stable.”

The extreme weather in China, the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter, was on display last month as U.S. climate envoy John Kerry arrived in Beijing the day China’s hottest-ever temperature — 126 degrees — was recorded in the western region of Xinjiang. Kerry’s visit restarted U.S.-China climate talks that had been suspended since last year but did not produce any breakthroughs.

As the planet warms, China’s droughts and floods will become more frequent and intense, said Liu Junyan, the manager of the climate and energy program at Greenpeace East Asia.

“Drought will dry up crops in their key growing period,” Liu said. “Flooding will not always cause 100% damage to the crops because it will recede, but the impact will last longer if it’s compounded by mudslides.”

The extreme weather events lashing China this summer are in line with what scientists have predicted if global warming continues unchecked.

Prolonged heat waves, severe storms, intense flooding and widespread drought are all becoming part of the “new normal” of climate change, said Cascade Tuholske, an assistant professor of climate change, urbanization and food security at Montana State University.

Extreme weather events around the world are expected to be worsened by the return this spring of El Niño, a naturally occurring climate pattern. El Niño conditions are characterized by changes in the strength or direction of trade winds that cause waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean to become warmer than usual. The shifts typically have significant and far-ranging effects on global temperatures, rainfall patterns and severe storm systems.

Rising global temperatures could also change the agricultural landscape in China, as some crops grown mainly in southern China move northward, Liu said.

In addition to being the world’s biggest food producer, China is also the biggest food importer, with key imports including soybean, corn, wheat and sorghum. The country imported more than 140 million tons of grains last year, which was equal to 21% of its annual domestic grain production.

China has increasingly turned to countries such as Brazil and Argentina for food imports amid tensions with the U.S., which was its biggest agricultural supplier before a trade war began in 2018.

Faced with global uncertainties, China has in recent years been ramping up efforts to ensure food security, striving to increase crop yields and carrying out a high-profile campaign against food waste.

But extreme weather is a wild card for agriculture and a headache for farmers, who are very dependent on climate.

“The drought in my area used to happen every eight to 10 years,” Chen said. “But it happened in 2021 and 2023. Too close.

“The future is hard to predict for us,” he added. “Many of us don’t dare to contract land anymore.”

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

President Ilham Aliyev: Armenia seems now more ready to accept those famous five principles

Baghdad hosts meeting of Iraq-Azerbaijan joint commission

Azerbaijani President: We brought peace to the region

"ASAN Xidmet", Islamic Development Bank discuss prospect for cooperation

Lionel Messi named Time Magazine's 'Athlete of the Year'

President Ilham Aliyev highlights conditions created for Armenians in Karabakh

Baku hosts International Forum on “Healthy Environment and Mine-Free Life to achieve Sustainable Development Goals”

President Ilham Aliyev attended Forum titled "Karabakh: Back Home After 30 Years. Accomplishments and Challenges"

Azerbaijani President: For us, the most important was to provide former refugees with decent jobs

Azerbaijan, Türkiye discuss military cooperation

President of Azerbaijan: We really try to do maximum in order to create most comfortable conditions for former refugees

President: Azerbaijan has exercised the right to self-defense based on Article 51 of UN Charter

President Ilham Aliyev: The anti-terror operation was held without any damage to civilian infrastructure, any casualty among civilians

Azerbaijani President: We still hoped that we can establish contacts with representatives of Karabakh Armenians

Azerbaijani oil price drops in world markets

To His Excellency Mr. Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland

President Ilham Aliyev: When we restored our sovereignty, a large number of Armenian military servicemen was positioned in Karabakh

Azerbaijan's non-oil exports increased by more than 10 percent

Azerbaijan’s SOCAR joins Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter

Oil prices drop in world markets

President Ilham Aliyev’s address to participants of “Decolonization: Women’s Empowerment and Development” conference circulated as UN official document

ADA University plays host to international forum on "Karabakh: Back Home After 30 Years. Accomplishments and Challenges"

Baku-hosted international conference on Western Azerbaijan wraps up

World's 1st 4th-generation nuclear power plant goes into commercial operation in China

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry comments on biased statement made by Vice-President of the EU Commission

Israeli Army reveals death of 80 soldiers in Gaza offensive

Azerbaijani, Iranian FMs meet in Moscow

Foxconn, Pegatron halt Indian iPhone production due to extreme weather: sources

Media Development Agency issues statement on deportation of AZERTAC employee from New Caledonia as an “undesirable person”

Azerbaijan Press Council issues statement on restriction of journalistic activities of AZERTAC employee

AZERTAC’s statement over baseless deportation of its journalist

Iraqi Prime Minister: There is a great potential for strengthening ties with Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s Presidential Administration hosts meeting with Türkiye's Justice and Development Party delegation

Azerbaijan`s defense minister meets with Egyptian counterpart

UAE hosts event on “Opportunities for Renewable Energy Investments in Azerbaijan”

® Share your style with “Dinlat” service by Nar

Parviz Shahbazov joins Ministerial Roundtable on Renewables and Energy Efficiency

Baku hosts international conference on Western Azerbaijan

® Azercell introduces Taksit (monthly Installment ) project

N. Korea pulls out of Senegal, Guinea in series of embassy closures: official

Azerbaijan’s and Iran’s Navy Commanders meet in Baku

Azerbaijani Para judokas claim two more silvers at IBSA Grand Prix Tokyo 2023

Azerbaijan, Albania discuss energy cooperation

UN announces 2024 as International Year of Camelids

Azerbaijani female Para judoka grabs bronze at IBSA Grand Prix Tokyo 2023

ACE first production well spudded, bp Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s FM attends meeting of Caspian littoral states' Foreign Ministers

Azerbaijan’s energy minister holds several meetings in Dubai

After 50 years, US to return to Moon on January 25

Azerbaijan to resettle 2.000 families to Shusha by the end of 2026, says Special Representative of President

Azerbaijan, Kuwait discuss inter-parliamentary cooperation

Experts from 30 countries convene in Zangilan

® Registration for “Data Panel” event held by Kapital Bank has started

® Login to Electronic Court system is possible with “SİMA İmza”

Central Bank: $95.1m worth of demand fully covered at FX auction

Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels to hit record high in 2023: report

Zuckerberg sells first Meta shares in two years after 172% surge

UAE leads the establishment of the World Fire Emission Reduction Alliance

Finland to start producing artillery ammunition for Ukraine — top defense official

Azerbaijani, Russian FMs meet in Moscow

Azerbaijan`s Ministry of Economy, C4IR discuss digital economy

FIA General Assembly meetings underway in Baku

White House’s bias and foul play against Azerbaijan

Vahid Hajiyev: Well-established infrastructure is key for sustainable resettlement of former IDPs in their homeland

Meeting of Caspian littoral states’ Foreign Ministers in limited format gets underway in Moscow

AZN 6m allocated for reconstruction of Shusha-Lachin highway - ORDER

Music streaming firm Spotify laying off 17% of workforce

Special Representative of Azerbaijani President: To date, 200 houses have been built in Aghali

Chairman of Caucasus Muslims Office meets with Kazakh Minister of Culture and Information

Heydar Aliyev Center hosts Kazakh artists’ exhibition and gala-concert

At least 14 dead, 20 injured in bus crash in S. Thailand

OIC Secretary-General calls on member states to invest more in critical sectors of economy

SOCAR participates in 8th Coordination Committee Meeting with Uniper in Berlin

Baku hosts international conference on “Enabling the safe and dignified return of Azerbaijanis expelled from Armenia: Global context and just solution”

To His Majesty Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua, King of Thailand

Lithuanian journalist visits Western Azerbaijan Community

Azerbaijan’s energy minister meets with US Assistant Secretary of State

International Volunteer Day: Secretary-General stresses importance of promoting volunteerism in OIC member states

Oil prices surge in world markets

Azerbaijani oil price drops more than $3

Air Defense units carry out combat firing VIDEO

Turkish citizens evacuated from Gaza arrive in Istanbul

MFA: Armenian side's bogus assertion is aimed to conceal disorder and chaos in its armed forces

Azerbaijan’s MFA strongly rejects statement of Armenian Foreign Ministry

Russia, Türkiye having many interesting joint projects — Putin

ANAMA: Over 2.545 hectares of liberated territory cleared of mines and UXOs over past week

Vice-President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva attends discussions on climate change at COP28 in Dubai

SOCAR inks important documents with a number of foreign companies in Dubai

Azerbaijan’s defense minister continues his visit to Egypt

Baku hosts event on protection of rights of persons with disabilities and mine victims

Azerbaijani FM heads to Russia for working visit

Iran's Navy delegation visits Baku

Azerbaijani culture minister meets with his Kazakh counterpart

FIA week gets underway in Baku

Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports presented with special medal and award at European Gymnastics Congress

Azerbaijani female rower becomes winner of 2023 Challenge Prince Albert II

Clara Peeters, the forgotten 17th century artist who’s painting could now sell for over $700,000

The 10 Best Movies of 2023

Azerbaijani para judoka wins bronze at 2023 IBSA Grand Prix

Serbia-Italy, Meloni: The EU will not be unified until the entry of the Western Balkans is completed