Scorched earth: Temperatures above 40 C (104 F) in northern China

By Erik Crouch, July 15, 2015

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Shanghai has had a very temperate summer so far – this July, in fact, is its coldest on record for more than 140 years – but in the north, the sweat is flowing like a river.

Temperatures have skyrocketed above 40 C (104 F) in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Shandong. That's some serious heat - and employers are freaking out at the possibility that they may (god forbid) have to give their outdoor workers a day off.

According to China Daily, outdoor work in high temperatures (above 35 C) is supposed to be subsidized by the government - the city authorities of Beijing, for example, should give money to some businesses in order to enable them to give their workers days off in the worst heat.

But as of last year, "more than 93 percent of [employers] said they didn't receive high-temperature subsidies" from the government meaning, presumably, that their workers were still outside in the raging heat.

For those lucky enough to not work outside for an ill-funded Chinese employer, this summer is still no picnic (well, if it is a picnic, it's one where all of the ice has melted and the sandwiches got really weird).

Parts of Beijing have already seen temperatures hit 42.2 C (108 F!) and will only get hotter as the summer burns on.

The air has been much better this year, but the temperatures seem to be worse – maybe all that smog had a cooling effect?

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