blinding sun
Millions of people in China could be affected by soaring temperatures in the coming decades. Flickr via Creative Commons

Eastern China experienced some scorching summers recently with a fierce heatwave in 2013, and researchers have concluded that things are set to get even hotter.

Analysing historical climate date in the region, a team of experts predicted that in just two decades, 50% of summers across the globe could be 'extreme' events like the one in 2013, even beating the temperatures experienced then.

Man-made climate change had contributed to a 60-fold increase in the likelihood of extreme temperatures since the early 1950s. Heat waves are also starting earlier and ending later, reported Climate Desk.

The research was conducted by the China Meteorological Administration, the Canadian government and a researcher from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, and published in Nature Climate Change.

"Human influence has produced a very large increase in the probability of clustering of extremely hot summers in the 21st century and of long-lasting severe heat waves such as that of 2013," the researchers wrote.

"The increase in summer heat, combined with the region's rising population and wealth, would produce higher risks for human health, agricultural systems and energy production and distribution systems if sufficient adaptation measures are not in place."

China is the world's leading emitter of greenhouse gases and the world's top coal producer and consumer. But while it has made investments in modernising its power plants, a surge in carbon emitting activities has offset the advantages.

At the recent UN summit on climate change, China pledged to cut the carbon intensity of its growth by 45% and peak its emissions as soon as possible.

The report echoes the conclusions of a recent collection of studies looking into the 2013 extreme temperature events, which said that human activity had increased the risk for heat waves.

Heat waves were experienced last year in Australia, China, Japan and Korea.

Carbon emissions have registered a 142% rise over pre-industrial age figures. From 32 billion tonnes in 2010, they grew in 2013 at the rate fastest in 30 years and are on track to touch 40 billion tonnes this year.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is currently at 396 parts per million.