The Yangtze River just can’t seem to cut a break these days. Earlier this year we reported that the river was in its death throes and now it’s being hit by droughts. This week the Yangtze River hit a 142-year record low, a plight expected to have some serious environmental and economic repercussion, particularly in our humble delta region.
The situation is looking rather grim for the wildlife in the region. Guardian correspondent Jonathan Watts reports:
“With the Yangtze three times as crowded with traffic as the Mississippi, conservationists fear the animals will be torn up by boat propellers or contaminated by more concentrated pollution from the 9,000 chemical plants along the Yangtze.”
In the same article, Wu Chunping is quoted as saying:
“Before 1996, we were short of water for three months of the year, but now there are only three months when we can use water as normal”
Disturbing trends for one of the nation’s primary sources of drinking water. What’s worse, many local officials are worried that the droughts will result in hungry river rats migrating into surrounding Yangtze regions in search of food. River rat infestations… the horror.
In a related piece of news, several sources are reporting that global warming may also be playing a role in rapidly raising sea levels in China. Shanghai’s water levels have risen a staggering 115mm in the last 30 years. Other regions most threatened by the high tides include Tianjin and the cities in the Guangdong Pearl River Delta.
More information on this can be found here and here.