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Number of ‘Furnace’ cities on rise in China

(People's Daily Online)

11:16, August 18, 2012

Recently, experts of the National Climate Center under the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) comprehensively analyzed the meteorological data of past 31 years and found that the top 10 hottest provincial capitals and municipalities of China are Chongqing, Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Nanchang, Changsha, Wuhan, Xi'an, Nanjing, Hefei and Nanning.

The director and an analyzer of the Climate and Climate Change Assessment Office under the CMA Zhang Cunjie told the reporter that the “furnace” city is just a common phrase and there is no scientific standard to define it.

The traditional “furnace” cities mean the large-scale cities of the Yangtze River valley. In summer, these cities are controlled by the subtropical anticyclone and have high-temperature and high-humidity weather for long periods, making people feel unbearably hot like being in a “furnace.” Therefore, people try to define the “furnace” city but use different standards. For example, some use the extreme maximum temperature and some use the number of days with high-temperature weather (In the meteorology, weather with a daily maximum temperature above 35 degrees Celsius is usually regarded as high-temperature weather).

“To judge whether a city is hot or not, many factors should be taken into account,” Zhang said, “For example, the places with an extreme maximum temperature higher than 35 degrees Celsius in summer are increasing in the north of China. But compared to southern regions, northern regions have shorter high-temperature periods, lower humidity and large temperature differences between day and night, and people of northern regions do not feel that uncomfortable in summer. Therefore, we should not use a single index to judge whether a city is hot or not.”

Global warming and “urban heat island effect” are increasing number of the “ovens”

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