Shanghai records its highest May temperature in more than 100 years
China's largest city hit a record 36.1 degrees C (nearly 97 degrees F) for the month, shattering the previous high by 1 degree.
A woman wearing sun protective clothing commutes on a bicycle amid hot weather in Shanghai on Monday. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)
(CNN) — The Chinese city of Shanghai recorded its highest May temperature in more than 100 years on Monday, hitting a record 36.1 degrees Celsius (nearly 97 degrees Fahrenheit).
The previous record of 35.7 degrees Celsius (96.3 degrees Fahrenheit) was first recorded in May 1876 and has been reached just three other times since including 1903, 1915 and 2018, state media reported.
It is unknown when the city began keeping temperature records.
Monday’s record-breaking heat wave for May was recorded in the city’s Xuhui district, state media CCTV reported, citing the Shanghai Meteorological Department.
Earlier Monday, the Shanghai Meteorological Department issued its first high temperature alert of the year as temperatures in the city surpassed 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) for three consecutive days.
This comes after a heat wave swept through China in July, with residents resorting to air raid shelters and public fountains to stay cool.
Across the entirety of 2022, Shanghai recorded 50 days of temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius.
Shanghai’s current temperature alert level is yellow, the lowest of the three tiers.
Women use an umbrella to shelter from the sun amid hot weather in Shanghai on May 29, 2023. Shanghai on May 29 recorded its hottest May day in 100 years, the city's meteorological service announced, shattering the previous high by a full degree. (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
An orange warning comes into effect if the maximum temperature is expected to rise above 37 degrees Celsius within 24 hours, and red means temperatures are expected to reach over 40 degrees Celsius in the coming 24 hours.
This comes amid a swathe of record high temperatures across Asia in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand’s capital earlier this month. Experts say the heat has been compounded by an intense smoggy season that has caused pollution levels to spike.
Scientists have long warned that heat waves are set to get worse as the impacts of the human-caused climate crisis accelerate.
The temperature of China’s coastal waters has also increased significantly due to global warming, and the rise in sea levels has accelerated, said Wang Hua, head of the marine forecasting and monitoring department at China’s Ministry of Natural Resources, last month.
Shanghai, the country’s most developed and richest city, is located along this coastline.
Over the past four decades, rising sea levels along the Chinese coast have caused long-term effects, including the erosion of coastal ecosystems and the loss of tidal flats. They have also affected groundwater supply and increased the damage caused by storms, floods and salt tide intrusion, Wang said.
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