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China logs 52.2 Celsius as extreme weather rewrites records


State-run media reported that a remote municipality in China's arid northwest endured temperatures of over 52 degrees Celsius (126 degrees Fahrenheit) on Sunday, setting a new record for a country that only six months ago was experiencing weather as cold as -50 degrees Celsius.


Sanbao township in Xinjiang's Turpan Depression reached a maximum temperature of 52.2C on Sunday, the state-run Xinjiang Daily reported on Monday, with the record heat anticipated to last at least five more days.


The previous record of 50.3C was set in 2015 near Ayding in the depression, an extensive basin of sand dunes and dried-up lakes located more than 150 metres (492 feet) below sea level.


Since April, numerous record-breaking heat waves have swept across Asia, raising concerns about their ability to adapt to a swiftly changing climate. The goal of limiting long-term global warming to 1.5°C is becoming increasingly unattainable, according to climate specialists.


China's power infrastructures and crops have been strained by prolonged periods of high temperatures, and concerns are growing about a possible repeat of last year's severest drought in 60 years.


According to the local weather bureau, on January 22 the temperature in Mohe, a city in northeastern Heilongjiang province, dropped to minus 53 degrees Celsius, breaking China's previous record low of minus 52.3 degrees Celsius, set in 1969.


Since then, the heaviest rainfall in a decade have pounded central China, destroying wheat fields in the granary of the nation.


This week, the United States and China intend to renew their efforts to combat global warming, with U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua in Beijing.

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