Shanghai records hottest day in May in 100 years

Temperature hits 36.7C in China’s largest city as records fall across Southeast Asia and South Asia.

People block the sunlight with their hands on a street amid a heatwave warning in Shanghai, China July 23, 2022. [File: REUTERS/Aly Song]
The global mean temperature in 2022 was 1.15C above the 1850-1900 average [Aly Song/Reuters]

Shanghai has recorded its hottest day in May in 100 years at 36.7C (98F), shattering the previous high by a full degree.

Scientists say global warming is exacerbating adverse weather with many countries experiencing deadly heatwaves and temperatures hitting records across Southeast and South Asia in recent weeks.

“At 13:09, the temperature at Xujiahui station hit 36.1C (97F), breaking a 100-year-old record for the highest temperature in May,” a post on the city’s meteorological service’s official Weibo account read on Monday, referring to a metro station in the centre of China’s largest city.

The temperature at the bustling station climbed to 36.7C later in the afternoon, Shanghai’s meteorological service said.

That put it well above the old record of 35.7C (96F), which has been recorded four times previously – in 1876, 1903, 1915 and 2018 – according to the weather service.

Shanghai residents sweated in the afternoon sun with some apps showing a “feels like” temperature estimate of more than 40C (104F).

“I headed out at noon to pick up a delivery and got a headache after coming back,” read one post from Shanghai on Weibo.

Another said: “I almost got heatstroke. It’s really hot enough to explode.”

El Nino and the warmest five-year period

Parts of India saw temperatures reach 44C (111F) in mid-April with at least 11 deaths near Mumbai attributed to heatstroke on a single day.

In Bangladesh, Dhaka suffered its hottest day in almost 60 years.

The city of Tak in western Thailand recorded its highest-ever temperature of 45.4C (114F) while Sainyabuli province in northwestern Laos hit 42.9C (109F), an all-time national temperature record, a study by the World Weather Attribution group said.

A recent report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that “every increment of global warming will intensify multiple and concurrent hazards”.

This month, the United Nations warned that it is almost certain that 2023 to 2027 will be the warmest five-year period ever recorded as greenhouse gasses and the El Nino ocean-warming phenomenon in the Pacific combine to send temperatures soaring.

There is a two-thirds chance that at least one of the next five years will see global temperatures exceed the more ambitious target set out in the Paris accords on limiting climate change, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said.

The global mean temperature in 2022 was 1.15C above the 1850-1900 average.

The WMO said there was a 66 percent chance that annual global surface temperatures will exceed the targeted 1.5C above pre-industrial levels for at least one of the years from 2023 to 2027.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies