Shanghai Records Highest Temperature in 100 years

The city’s weather department has announced that Monday marked the highest temperature ever recorded in Shanghai in May. This new record surpassed the previous record by a full degree.

Temperatures in Southeast and South Asia have touched record highs in recent weeks, and scientists say this is evidence that global warming is increasing extreme weather.

A 100-year-old record for the highest temperature in May was broken at Xujiahui station, located in the heart of China’s largest metropolis and serving as a metro stop. According to an official statement on the organization’s Weibo account, at 13:09, the temperature reached 36.1 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit).

Shanghai’s weather office reported that the temperature had reached 36.7C (98F) by late afternoon in the busiest station.

The previous record was 35.7C, reached four times before (1876, 1903, 1915, and 2018) but was now broken by one full degree.

Residents of Shanghai baked under the early afternoon sun, with the “feels like” temperature estimated by some applications to be higher than 40C (104F).

According to the Shanghai Meteorological Department, state media CCTV reported that the Xuhui district of the city experienced a record-breaking heat wave for May on Monday.

On Monday, the Shanghai Meteorological Department issued its inaugural high-temperature alert of the year due to the city experiencing temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) for three consecutive days.

Last July, China was hit by a heat wave, forcing people to seek refuge in bomb shelters and public fountains.

In 2022, Shanghai experienced 50 days when the temperature exceeded 35 degrees Celsius.

The current temperature alert level in Shanghai is classified as yellow, which represents the lowest tier on their elevated risk scale.

If the high temperature is predicted to be over 37 degrees Celsius within the next 24 hours, an orange warning will go into force; a red alert will be issued if the high temperature is predicted to be above 40 degrees Celsius during the next 24 hours.

This follows a series of record-breaking heat waves around Asia, including in Vietnam, Laos, and the capital of Thailand, earlier this month. The experts say the heat is even worse because of the heavy smoggy season, which has led to record levels of air pollution. 

Last month, Wang Hua, the head of China’s Ministry of Natural Resources marine forecasting and monitoring department, stated that the warming caused by global climate change has led to a significant increase in the temperature of China’s coastal waters. Furthermore, Wang noted that the acceleration of rising sea levels has also been observed.

According to Wang’s statements, the Chinese coast has witnessed the consequences of rising sea levels over the past forty years. These long-term effects include the deterioration of coastal ecosystems and the disappearance of tidal flats. Moreover, the rising sea levels have impacted groundwater availability and amplified the destructive impacts of storms, floods, and the intrusion of salt tides.

AFP reported that a resident stated, “It’s an environmental problem. The world is going to get hotter and hotter in upcoming years.” Each year, the summers get significantly hotter than the previous one. I will start using the air conditioner a little earlier than usual.” 

A user posting on the social networking website Weibo in China said, “I almost got heatstroke, it’s really hot enough to explode.”

The increasing and intensified heat  is creating problems for residents of China. Some residents complain of dehydration, headache, even heat strokes and many other due to heat waves. Scientists have long warned that heat waves will only worsen as the effects of the worsening climate change become more apparent.

The United Nations issued a warning in May stating that it is almost inevitable that 2023-2027 will be the warmest five-year period ever recorded because of the combination of greenhouse emissions and El Nino, which will push temperatures skyrocketing.

The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization (WMO) states a 66% likelihood that one of the next five years will experience global temperatures surpassing the more ambitious target established in the Paris Agreement for mitigating climate change.