CHINA— China said it will attempt to mitigate the impacts of the ongoing drought to its crops by using chemicals to generate rain, reports The Associated Press.

This has been the hottest, driest summer in the country’s recorded history and has wilted crops and left reservoirs at half their normal water level.

Factories in Sichuan province were shut down last week to save power for homes as air conditioning demand surged, with temperatures as high as 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).

Agriculture Minister Tang Renjian said that the coming 10 days are a “key period of damage resistance” for southern China’s rice crop and authorities will take emergency steps to “ensure the autumn grain harvest,” which is 75% of China’s annual total.

These steps include an attempt to “try to increase rain” by seeding clouds with chemicals and spraying crops with a “water retaining agent” to limit evaporation, Tang’s ministry said on its website.

A smaller Chinese grain harvest would have a potential global impact. It would boost demand for imports, adding to upward pressure on inflation in the United States and Europe that is running at multi-decade highs.

China will attempt to “try to increase rain” by seeding clouds with chemicals and spraying crops with a “water retaining agent” to limit evaporation

In addition to China, this summer has brought extreme heat and droughts to places around the world, From Africa to Europe to the US leading to serious problems, including shortages of food and energy, problems with transportation, and price increases.

The drought in the Horn of Africa may be the most serious situation. For several years, the area has had very little rain during the rainy seasons. Now the area, which includes Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, is suffering from its worst drought in 40 years and the United Nations has warned that as many as 22 million people in the region face starvation.

Two-thirds of Europe is threatened by what may be the worst drought there in 500 years. The latest report from the Global Drought Observatory says 47% of the continent is in “warning” conditions, meaning soil has dried up. Another 17% is on alert – meaning vegetation “shows signs of stress”.

With temperatures reaching 104º Fahrenheit (F) (40º Celsius (C)) and hotter, many crops have been damaged and compared with the average of the previous five years, EU forecasts for harvest are down 16% for grain maize, 15% for soybeans and 12% for sunflowers.

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