Since July, southern China has been struck by a nearly unprecedented heat wave -- one that has broken temperature records, caused water shortages, and led to dozens of deaths across the country. The heat wave has been classified as a "level 2" emergency (a classification usually reserved for extreme weather events like typhoons and earthquakes), with temperatures hovering around 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, in places like Shanghai. According to state meteorologists, the heat wave is expected to break in mid-August. But its detrimental effects threaten China's agriculture and could damage output well into the year.
Above, people try to cool off at a water park in Suining, in China's southwestern Sichuan province, on July 27, as temperatures reached 106 degrees Fahrenheit.