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The heat in China was relenting in 2023 with temperature records broken from Beijing to Shanghai, echoing the global heatwave phenomena that affected much of the world, raising heightened concerns about global climate change.

State media reported on Tuesday that China witnessed intense heat, causing 127 national weather stations to break records for daily high temperatures in 2023.

Notably, Beijing set a remarkable record in July by surpassing a 23-year-old milestone, enduring 27 consecutive days with temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit).

Globally, 2023 was the warmest year on record, and it wreaked havoc around the world. El Niño played a role, but global warming is at the root of the world’s increasing extreme weather.

The national average temperature of 10.7 degrees Celsius (51.3 Fahrenheit), the highest since 1961 and 0.8 degrees Celsius higher than a normal reading of 9.9 Celsius (49.8F), broke the record of 10.5 Celsius (50.9F) set in 2021, state broadcaster CCTV said.

Most of the country was 0.5-1 degrees Celsius warmer. The average temperature in 13 provinces, cities or regions including Beijing, Shandong, Liaoning, Xinjiang and Henan were all at the highest since 1961, CCTV said.


China experienced a stretch of record-breaking heat and extreme weather, with readings at one weather station in the far northwestern region of Xinjiang on July 16 hitting an all-time high of 52.2 degrees Celsius (126 Fahrenheit).

The heat also baked Europe, India, North Africa, many parts of the southern United States and swathes of Southeast Asia. The hottest day ever recorded globally was July 3, according to data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

The average global temperature reached 17.01 degrees Celsius (62.62 Fahrenheit), surpassing the August 2016 record of 16.92 Celsius (62.46F).

China’s weather extreme was not limited to heat as torrential rains drenched many parts of the country in the summer, especially after several typhoons hit the mainland.

A total of 55 national weather stations across the country recorded daily precipitation exceeding the historical extreme value, according to CCTV.

China is likely to face even hotter temperatures and more frequent and powerful weather extremes in 2024, chief expert at the country’s National Climate Center has warned.