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By Matthew Walsh
Beijing logged its hottest June day since records began on Thursday, the national weather service said, as swathes of northern China sweltered in 40-degree heat. online news
Scientists say rising global temperatures — caused largely by burning fossil fuels — are aggravating extreme weather worldwide, and many countries in Asia have experienced deadly heatwaves and record temperatures in recent weeks.
At the Nanjiao weather station in southern Beijing, considered a benchmark for temperatures in the capital, the mercury hit 41.1 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit) at 3:19 pm (0719 GMT) on Thursday, the weather service said in a statement also carried by state broadcaster CCTV.
The figure is half a degree higher than the station’s previous monthly record of 40.6 C taken in June 1961, and second only to the 41.9 C measured in July 1999, according to weather data.
“This station has only hit temperatures exceeding 41 C three times since records began,” the weather service said, adding that “baking heat will persist in Beijing for the next two days, with temperatures perhaps reaching 38 C to 39 C”.
Other weather stations around the capital chalked up even higher temperatures on Thursday, with Tanghekou in northern Beijing notching 41.8 C early in the afternoon, becoming the hottest place in the country, according to state media.
Along Beijing’s canals, residents sought respite from the blazing heat by swimming and splashing around in the water.
In nearby Tianjin — home to over 13 million people — temperatures in the city centre also soared, with the western Xiqing district logging its hottest ever June day with 40.6 C.
Nationwide, some 17 weather stations “recorded record high temperature extremes” on Thursday, according to the National Meteorological Center (NMC).
“It never used to get this hot in June before, but now it’s so hot my hands are trembling,” wrote one user on the Weibo social media platform.
“Are there three suns blazing over Beijing right now? It’s hot enough to cause a breakdown,” wrote another.
The scorching heat has coincided with the Dragon Boat Festival, a time when many Chinese go outside and socialise.
High temperatures are forecast to persist across northern China throughout the three-day public holiday, especially around Beijing and parts of the Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang regions.
“These current high-temperature weather systems are affecting large areas and persisting for a long time,” state broadcaster CCTV said Thursday.
Authorities have urged people to limit their time outdoors and warned of the heightened risk of heatstroke and other health complaints.
Beijing’s weather authority issued a warning for extreme heat and urged people to “avoid exercising outdoors for long periods… and take effective measures to shield from the sun”.
In Tianjin, where an alert was also in place, officials said the “general public (should) remain aware and take precautions” against heat-induced strokes.
Last week, Beijing recorded its highest temperature for mid-June, with weather officials warning the public to stay indoors as the mercury hit 39.4 C.
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