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Extreme weather drags down economic growth in many countries

Extreme weather drags down economic growth in many countries

Since June this year, many countries in the northern hemisphere have experienced extremely high temperature weather, people’s life and production have been tested, and the economic growth of many countries has been dragged down. At present, many agencies around the world have issued alarms saying that the possibility of El Niño recurrence in 2023 is increasing.

Extreme weather affects food supply

A joint investigation report recently released by the World Meteorological Organization and the European Union’s climate monitoring agency, the Copernicus Climate Change Service, stated that the global average temperature in early June this year was the highest recorded by the agency for the same period, and the temperature in May was almost “on par” with previous years. hottest record.

In addition to causing drought and fueling fires, extreme heat has seriously affected the security of food and energy supplies. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently stated that it is “carefully examining” areas where food security may be at high risk and possible “preventive actions”. Dr. Rebecca Emerton, head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, pointed out that due to the drought, this year’s crops may be reduced.

Recently, a heat wave has hit the southern United States, with high temperatures and humidity above 38 degrees Celsius in most areas. Many states in the United States have issued high temperature warnings. Temperatures in parts of Texas reached above 46 degrees Celsius. According to data from the National Weather Service, about 62 million people across the United States have been affected by the hot weather.

Meanwhile, U.S. wheat production was also affected by the heat. Due to the drought in the Southern Plains, the USDA estimated in its May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Forecast report that the 2022 winter wheat harvest would be down 8% year-over-year despite a slight increase in planted area.

In addition, the French Meteorological Agency stated that since April 11 this year, France has set a record-breaking high temperature for 37 consecutive days. The Copernicus Climate Change Service estimates that from June to August, there is a 70% chance that the temperature in Spain, France and Italy will be much higher than the average level of previous years, which will have a negative impact on the planting and harvesting of crops in Europe. significant risk.

The drought will also exacerbate energy supply shortages in Europe. Hydroelectric dams have dried up in countries such as Portugal and Norway. Norway, Europe’s second-biggest natural gas supplier, has warned it may have to curb energy exports if the situation does not improve. Italy’s water supply system is under strain, with 40% of the population suffering from water shortages, and climate change is making things worse. In addition, European nuclear power plants are also expected to generate less electricity due to a lack of water to cool the reactors.

India, the world’s second-largest wheat producer, has suffered 122 years of extreme heat this year that has affected food supplies. According to Reuters, in February this year, India was expected to produce a record 111 million tons of wheat for the whole year. However, due to the hot weather, India’s wheat harvest is expected to be reduced by 6% this year.

According to a report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Program in May this year, extreme weather may affect agricultural production in countries and regions such as India, Australia, West and Southern Africa, and Latin America. In Chile, heavy rains will limit production at mines that account for nearly 30 percent of global copper production, with reduced output and delayed shipments affecting prices for products ranging from computer chips to cars.

Heatwave tests multinational power systems

This summer, Southeast Asia also encountered a rare high temperature. Thailand experienced the hottest day in history on April 15, with a temperature of 45.4°C; Laos reached 43.5°C for two consecutive days in May, and Vietnam’s temperature reached 43.8°C on the first day of June, setting a new record for the same period in history . Under the high temperature, people’s demand for electricity has soared, and many Asian countries are facing the problem of electricity shortage.

In Vietnam, the power shortage is particularly evident in the northern provinces where industrial parks are concentrated. Vietnam’s Bac Ninh and Bac Giang provinces have developed industries, especially in the field of electronic component manufacturing. Large multinational companies such as Samsung and Canon have set up factories in industrial parks here. The production of electronic components mostly uses large-capacity machines, which require a lot of power.

The heat wave has hit, and several provinces in northern Vietnam have experienced greater power supply gaps this year than in previous years. According to a recent report submitted by the Vietnam Electricity Corporation to the government, the power supply gap in the northern region may be 8,000 megawatts, much higher than the previous forecast of 5,000 megawatts. The US “Wall Street Journal” stated that the serious power shortage has dealt a blow to manufacturers pouring into Vietnam.

Pakistan’s ARY News TV reported on June 25 that due to heat waves in various parts of Pakistan, the overall energy gap has exceeded 6,500 megawatts. Sources in Pakistan’s power sector said that the country’s total electricity production was 20,400 megawatts, while demand reached 27,000 megawatts. “Daily Pakistan” reported that in parts of Lahore, Pakistan, power outages lasted more than 10 hours a day. According to reports, at present, Pakistan’s national hydropower and nuclear power facilities are operating at full power, accounting for half of the country’s total power generation.

According to foreign media reports, due to the surge in power consumption caused by hot weather, coupled with insufficient supplies of coal and natural gas, Bangladesh has also been facing severe power shortages, while its foreign exchange crunch has made fuel imports difficult. According to reports, the power shortage threatens Bangladesh’s important garment industry, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the South Asian country’s exports.

Increased chance of El Niño recurrence

The World Meteorological Organization has warned that the possibility of an El Niño in 2023 is increasing, which “may lead to an increase in global temperatures” and even break high temperature records. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an “El Niño Watch” alert in April, making similar predictions.

El Niño is a climate phenomenon caused by an abnormal increase in water temperature in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, which will lead to changes in global temperature and rainfall patterns. It occurs every 2 to 7 years on average and usually lasts 9 to 12 months. In 2016, an exceptionally strong El Niño event led to record global temperatures.

The German “Der Spiegel” weekly stated that the El Niño phenomenon has an increasing impact on the global average temperature, and it can cause the temperature to rise by 0.4°C at most. As such, 2023 could be hotter than the anomalous 2016, which already broke all records due to climate change and a very strong El Niño. How hot it will be in 2023 and 2024, and whether it will exceed the 1.5°C warming limit target set by the Paris Agreement for the first time, still depends on whether the El Niño phenomenon in this autumn and winter is mild or strong.

In response to the climate challenge, emission reduction has become a focus of the international community. In April this year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report calling on countries to take in-depth, rapid and sustained actions to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the impact of climate change. On Earth Day on April 22 this year, United Nations Secretary-General Guterres called on the international community to accelerate climate action in a video speech, and at the same time urged governments to play an important leading role in protecting the environment.

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