Natural Disasters in Beijing, China
The purpose of this paper is to explore the natural hazards experienced in Beijing. When researching Beijing, I noticed there was a lot of information on a few different kinds of hazards that occur frequently. These hazards are caused by Beijing’s natural climate which is described as a monsoon climate. This climate creates frequently occurring droughts, sandstorms, and a very rainy summer. In this paper I will discuss Beijing’s natural climate and the natural disasters that occur within the city.
Beijing has very predictable seasons and a climate which is described as a continental monsoon climate. This climate is due to the East Asian Monsoon which is defined as a monsoonal flow that carries moist air from the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean into East Asia. This particular monsoonal flow is characterized by a warm and rainy summer and a cold and dry winter ("East Asian Monsoon"). In the diagram below from NC State University you can see how a monsoon climate operates.
In Beijing specifically the summers are approximately from June thru September and are hot, humid, and wet. Most of the rainfall occurs in July and August and accounts of approximately 75% of the annual rainfall ("Beijing Climate/Weather"). Autumn is considered the best season of the year with pleasant weather and the best air quality of the year. Autumn is a short season which is from September through October, and is often referred to as the ‘golden season’. Winter is a much longer season running from early November through March and is described as cold and dry. There is very little snowfall in Beijing causing frequent droughts. The spring runs from early April until the end of May making it another very short season. There is very little rainfall and high winds. This coupled with the rapidly increasing temperatures and dry winter accounts for the many sandstorms during the spring ("Beijing Climate/Weather").
Beijing has had a serious drought problem for many years due to its natural monsoon climate most of the precipitation occurs during the months of July and August. This leaves ten months out of the year where there is little to no rainfall. When researching the droughts in Beijing, there were many instances over the years showing that this is a consistent issue for the people of China. The climate of Beijing is a very predictable one so the shortages of water are no surprise to the people but have been getting worse in recent years.
The most recent severe drought was in 2011where Beijing experienced its worst winter drought in 60 years. This drought had a severe impact on the people living in Beijing as it caused a severe water shortage. The city’s officials had to impose a household water quota system because there was not sufficient water for the highly populated city. The city even had to impose a system where water is diverted from the nearby Hebei Province so tap water supplies would continue uninterrupted...