Shanghai Witnesses Historic High Temperature: A Century-Old Record Shattered

Shanghai Witnesses Historic High Temperature: A Century-Old Record Shattered

Shanghai, China’s most populous city, experienced an unprecedented surge in temperature on Monday, marking the highest for May in the past century. The city’s weather authorities reported this extraordinary event, noting that the heat had outdone the previous record by an entire degree. 

Global warming’s relentless grip continues to escalate harsh weather conditions around the world. Numerous nations are currently battling lethal heatwaves, and record-breaking temperatures have been reported across Southeast Asia and South Asia over the past weeks. 

Monday’s intense heat was felt most intensely at the Xujiahui metro station, located in the heart of Shanghai. The city’s weather service revealed on their official Weibo account, “At 13:09, Xujiahui station registered a temperature of 36.1 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit), surpassing a century-old record for May’s highest temperature.” 

The mercury continued its upward trend in the bustling station, rising to 36.7C (98F) later in the day, as revealed by the city’s meteorological service. This reading toppled the previous record of 35.7C, held since the days of 1876, 1903, 1915, and as recent as 2018, as per the weather service’s data. 

Inhabitants of Shanghai endured the scorching sun during the early afternoon. Several apps even registered a “feels like” temperature surpassing 40C (104F). Social media was abuzz with locals expressing their discomfort, with one post stating, “Stepped outside to collect a package at noon and returned with a throbbing headache,” while another person lamented, “Nearly had a heatstroke, the heat is truly unbearable.” 

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Widespread Deadly Heat 

In recent weeks, similarly intense temperatures have been recorded in other regions. In India, temperatures soared beyond 44C (111F) in the middle of April, claiming at least 11 lives due to heat stroke in one day near Mumbai. Dhaka in Bangladesh, experienced its warmest day in nearly six decades. 

Thailand’s city of Tak recorded its highest ever temperature of 45.4C (114F), while Laos’ Sainyabuli province registered an all-time national high of 42.9C (109F), according to the World Weather Attribution group. 

As per a recent publication from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Each degree of global warming will amplify multiple, concurrent environmental threats.” 

Earlier this month, the United Nations forecasted that the period from 2023 to 2027 would likely be the hottest five-year span ever documented, propelled by greenhouse gases and El Nino. 

The UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) assessed a 66% likelihood that at least one of the years between 2023 and 2027 will exceed the ambitious temperature target outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement. This pact, signed in 2015, strived to limit global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius above the baseline average from 1850 to 1900, ideally to 1.5C. 

Global mean temperatures for 2022 stood at 1.15C higher than the average from 1850-1900. The WMO further predicted that there is a 66% chance the annual global surface temperatures will surpass 1.5C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year between 2023 and 2027. 

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