Since July, drought has affected around 27 districts in Gansu, northwest China, due to prolonged hot weather and insufficient precipitation. According to the local weather bureau, these circumstances are predicted to persist, hurting more than 1.51 million people and destroying nearly 60,000 hectares of crops, as per a report in Xinhua.

The province has received 14% less rainfall than in average years since the beginning of this year. According to the provincial meteorological bureau, rainfall in central and eastern Gansu fell by 50-80% during the hot season. Droughts are expected to persist in September, according to the bureau’s estimate, Xinhua said.

Steps taken by China

To counter the catastrophe of drought, China’s first weather modification drone, the Ganlin-1 flew successfully for the first time in January. Ganlin-1 was created as part of a large-scale weather modification initiative that was disclosed late last year. Beijing plans to blanket 5.5 million square kilometres, or 60% of the country’s area, with artificial precipitation by 2025, making it one of the world’s largest such programmes. However, the issue of drought still remains in China.

Earlier in 2010, China faced another severe drought that affected eight provinces in the People’s Republic of China’s northwestern region. It was the country’s worst drought in 60 years, affecting most of the country’s wheat-growing regions. In certain areas, the drought began in September 2010, however widespread lack of rain began in October and due to the lack of precipitation, there was less snow cover than usual, placing wheat crops in danger of frost damage and limiting the quantity of moisture in the ground.

China and Climate

China is responsible for more than a quarter of all global greenhouse gas emissions. China’s carbon dioxide emissions climbed by 0.9% every year between 2014 and 2019, according to Deccan Herald. China has surpassed the United States and the European Union as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse emissions. China’s environmental apathy predates the industrial revolution. According to Deccan Herald, China also has another issue wreaking havoc on the global ecosystem, which is plastic waste. Plastics disintegrate into microplastics, which can be biomagnified by crustaceans such as fish, crabs, and mollusks.

(Inputs from ANI)

Image- Unsplash