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China Is Writing the Story of the Climate Future

The New York Times:”They called it a “summer of disasters” in June, and as the summer wore on, the pattern held: unprecedented extreme temperatures across South Asia; then two distinct heat waves across the United States, bringing health advisories to a total of 200 million people; and three heat waves across Europe, where thousands died and rivers shriveled too much for boats to pass and warmed too much for nuclear power plants to cool off. There were deadly monsoon rains in Bangladesh, the worst in more than a century, and then, in Pakistan, much worse: a third of the country submerged, more than a thousand dead and a million homes destroyed. But for climate scientists, the most conspicuous weather event of the summer may have been the simultaneous heat and drought blanketing most of China. The country has been experiencing extreme heat for almost three months, affecting more than 900 million people. As many as 66 rivers in a single municipal area, around Chongqing, have “dried up,” according to the state broadcaster CCTV. As the weather historian Maximiliano Herrera put it memorably to New Scientist, “there is nothing in world climatic history which is even minimally comparable.”…

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