Yangtze River, it’s abnormal!

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Author: Xusheng source: Xusheng (official account ID: lxlong20) has been reprinted with permission

The day before yesterday, I called my brother, who is a cook, and learned that he had a hot cold. Not only did he catch a cold, but all the chefs in their restaurant caught a cold. One of them had blisters on his body and was sent directly to the hospital by the boss.

Why is it so hot?

According to my brother’s description, the normal temperature in their kitchen has exceeded 40 degrees. After starting the fire, the temperature exceeds 50 degrees; The industrial and commercial bureau went to check that the test temperature was 58 degrees. The ice cube as big as the washbasin will be gone in five minutes. I don’t feel much when I drink cold mung bean soup.

To be honest, this environment is no longer suitable for normal work. But their chefs insisted on going to work with illness, and then went to have an infusion after work. Because this year is very difficult. A few months before the outbreak, the restaurant was closed and the chefs were not paid. It’s hard to endure until summer, and the reheating must be done, otherwise there is no money to repay the mortgage.

When I heard this, I felt a momentary shock. The reason why there is only a moment is because I know that the life at the bottom has always been so difficult.

In fact, the whole Yangtze River Basin, from Sichuan and Chongqing in the upper reaches, to Hubei and Jiangxi in the middle reaches, to Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai and Anhui in the lower reaches, has a high temperature of more than 40 degrees. I feel that the whole Yangtze River is not flowing water but flowing fire. Too many workers sweat hard to survive in the high temperature.


In the midsummer of previous years, the Yangtze River Basin was full of heavy rain, and the main theme was flood fighting.

This year’s Yangtze River is really abnormal, only hot and dry.

More serious than heat is drought. The corn and other crops in my hometown (Northern Anhui) have died of drought, and some villagers have even been hospitalized due to heat.

01 extreme scene

How short of water is the Yangtze River this year? You can look at some pictures.

First look at the first picture. The grass grows very well.

Many friends may think that this is the Inner Mongolia prairie, but I also hope that this is the Inner Mongolia prairie. In fact, due to drought and water shortage this year, there are few such scenes on the prairie of Inner Mongolia.


This is the bottom of Poyang Lake. You’re right, and I’m not wrong. This is the bottom of Poyang Lake, which was taken by Xinhua on August 17 with a drone.

We should know that Poyang Lake is not an ordinary lake, but the largest freshwater lake in China. It is located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River and has the most abundant water. In previous years, there were exposed parts at the bottom of Poyang Lake, but those were the dry season in autumn and winter. It was originally rainy season in midsummer, which is extremely rare and abnormal.

The average water depth of Poyang Lake is 8.4 meters, the average water depth of Dongting Lake next door is also similar, and the average water depth of Taihu Lake downstream is shallower, so the situation is not optimistic.

In the second picture, half of the riverbed is in the water and half is exposed.

This is not an ordinary River, but the Jialing River.


This photo was taken at the qiansimen bridge on the Jialing River. Because Chongqing is located in the mountainous area, the river is half deep and half shallow, and the exposed part is the shallow part.

Jialing River is the main tributary of the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. So many river beds are exposed, which means that the upper reaches of Sichuan and Chongqing are hot and dry. When the white sturgeon was declared extinct, some people imagined that there were left white sturgeons in the Jialing River (the white sturgeons lay their eggs in the Jinsha River Basin). Looking at the water volume of the Jialing River, it is difficult to carry the king of freshwater like the white sturgeon even in the rainy season.

The impact of drought on Sichuan and Chongqing is also obvious. In addition to the unusually hot weather, Sichuan has also limited electricity. We should know that Sichuan is the largest province in hydropower, and the power restriction means that the water flow has dropped significantly.

Looking at the third picture, Guanyin pavilion has changed.


Guanyin Pavilion, also known as “the first Pavilion of the Yangtze River”, has a history of nearly 700 years. In the midsummer of previous years, Guanyin pavilion was often immersed in water. Now, because of the drought, the reef base is completely exposed.

Under the continuous high temperature and drought, the water level in Ezhou section of the Yangtze River where Guanyin Pavilion is located has reached the lowest level in the same period since the hydrological records were recorded in 1865.

It can be seen from the above scenario that the water level in the Yangtze River Basin has dropped significantly. In short, the Yangtze River is extremely short of water this summer.

02 crisis

To what extent does the Yangtze River lack water? Some data can be referred to.

Since June 1——

The precipitation in the Yangtze River Basin is 325.4 mm, which is 30% less than that in the same period of the year (469.7 mm), second only to 319.3 mm in 1972, and the second lowest in the same period in history;

The number of high-temperature days reached 28.9 days, 15.7 days more than the same period of the year (13.2 days);

There were 202 stations with the extreme maximum temperature breaking the record, accounting for 30% of the total stations in the basin.

Since July 1——

The precipitation in the Yangtze River Basin is 143.2 mm, which is 40% less than that in the same period of the year, the lowest in the same period since 1961. The water from rivers is also 20-80% less.

Since August 1——

The precipitation in the Yangtze River Basin, Wujiang River and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River is the lowest in the same period in history, with an area rainfall of less than 20 mm, of which the main stream of the middle reaches is less than 10 mm.

As of early August, some areas of the Yangtze River Basin had no rain for more than 20 consecutive days; Most of the high-temperature days in the basin exceed 18 days, and some areas in the middle and lower reaches of the basin exceed 30 days.


The water level of the main line of the Yangtze River has decreased by 4.3 meters on average. It is expected that the water level of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River will further decrease by 1.0m-1.5m in the middle and late August.

The water level in Hankou section of the Yangtze River is 16.73 meters, 7.23 meters lower than that in the same period of previous years; The Three Gorges reservoir is 146.52 meters, infinitely close to the 145 meter flood control limit water level; The water level at Datong station is less than 7 meters, only 6.46 meters.

In view of the development of drought in the Yangtze River Basin, on August 11, the Ministry of Water Resources launched the four level emergency response for drought prevention.

When you see the above data, don’t think it’s just a simple drought.

We should know that the Yangtze River Basin is the root of China’s freshwater. If the Yangtze River Basin is short of water, it means that a huge problem is facing everyone, that is, the whole of China is short of water.

For a long time, a huge problem in China has been neglected, that is, the shortage of freshwater resources in China.

In fact, even when the Yangtze River is rich in water resources, China is still a country with insufficient freshwater resources.

03 huge problems

According to relevant data:

China’s total freshwater resources are huge, about 2.8 trillion cubic meters, accounting for 6% of the world’s water resources, ranking fourth in the world after Brazil, Russia and Canada;

However, the per capita freshwater consumption is only over 2000 cubic meters, which is only 1 / 4 of the world average level and 1 / 5 of the United States. It ranks 121st in the world and is one of the 13 countries with the poorest water resources per capita in the world;

About two-thirds of the cities in China are short of water, and about one quarter are seriously short of water.

After deducting the flood that is difficult to use and the groundwater resources scattered in remote areas, the amount of available freshwater resources in China is less and the distribution is extremely uneven. In addition, due to the extensive development in the past few decades, many rivers are seriously polluted.

At ordinary times, people may not feel the restriction of water resources. In fact, the restriction of water resources is everywhere. Take Beijing as an example. Why should we restrict the population? One of the key factors is that Beijing’s per capita freshwater resources are only 300 cubic meters, about one seventh of the country’s per capita freshwater resources.

As the mother river of Beijing, Yongding River has long lost its vitality; This has led to difficulties in supplying fresh water resources in Beijing. In fact, many northern cities are facing the problem of lack of fresh water resources like Beijing.

Because of the special role of Beijing as the capital, Beijing relies on the South-to-North Water Diversion Project. In the foreseeable future, if new technologies such as seawater desalination cannot be popularized on a large scale, the lack of water resources will always be a key factor restricting Beijing’s development.

However, if the freshwater resources in the Yangtze River Basin drop significantly, the South-to-North water transfer will also be greatly affected.

So the extreme situation in the Yangtze River Basin like this year:

If it is a special case, then China’s lack of fresh water resources can be delayed for a while;

If this phenomenon becomes normal, water shortage will become an urgent problem.

04 several reasons

Why is there drought and heat in the Yangtze River Basin this year?

First, the intensity of the subtropical high is obviously stronger this year, and it has been shrouded over the Sichuan basin to Jianghan, Jiangnan, Jianghuai and other areas for a long time; This makes it difficult to form clouds in the Yangtze River Basin, making it easier for solar radiation to reach the ground, and high temperatures occur frequently.

It is precisely because of the strong subtropical high intensity that the whole Yangtze River Basin continues to have high temperature and little rain. The water from the main rivers and lakes in the basin is obviously low, and the water level is significantly low, resulting in obvious drought and heat.

The second reason is that the precipitation line moves northward.

In fact, some people have discussed this issue before. In 2021, the Yangtze River Basin was calm and the Yellow River Basin was flooded in Shanxi, Henan and Hebei, making this discussion hot for a period of time. Because in history, there were floods in the Yangtze River Basin and droughts in the Yellow River Basin.

This year, the Yangtze River Basin is dry, and there is no large-scale rainfall in the Yellow River Basin (there was a flood in Gansu before, but it does not mean that the precipitation in the Yellow River Basin has increased greatly). Therefore, the viewpoint that the precipitation line moves northward has yet to be verified.

However, if the downwater line really moves northward, it will have a great impact not only on China but also on the whole global village. For example, if the average temperature rises by 5 degrees, the Yangtze River Basin will become hotter, and the northeast and outer northeast will become livable.

The third reason is environmental damage.

Putting aside those major principles, environmental damage is mainly reflected in two aspects.

One is the urban level. Many rivers were damaged in the process of urban expansion, resulting in cut-off, siltation and serious pollution. For example, Yongding River, the mother river in Beijing, has lost its vitality. Taking my hometown in Northern Anhui as an example, the Yinghe river is also an important river between the Yellow River and the Huaihe River, but now it has become ugly.

The second is the rural level. When I was young, there were many ditches around almost every village. When it rains in summer, you can easily catch a lot of fish in the ditch. But now, the ditches around the village have either dried up. There is no dry ditch, let alone fish, even loach.

The damage to the environment will eventually be transmitted to the climate level. However, there is no accurate model for the impact, and no one can tell. Moreover, China is still a developing country, and economic development is still the top priority.

Having said so much, I failed to tell the real reason. In fact, no one can explain this abnormal phenomenon in the Yangtze River Basin, but it will attract more and more attention.

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