XINING, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- El Nino brought rising temperatures and reduced rainfall in 2016, resulting in falling water levels in the upper reaches of China's second-longest river.
According to Qinghai Provincial Climate Center, El Nino left the upper reaches of the Yellow River "dry to very dry" throughout 2016.
The 5,464-km-long Yellow River, which runs through China and is known as the "Mother River" of Chinese civilization, originates in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
The Tangnaihai water station, located near the Yellow River's source, reported that 2016 was the driest since 2003, with water levels dropping by more than 30 percent between June and September.
Rainfall last summer and autumn was 10 percent less compared to the previous year, while the average temperature near the upper reaches of the Yellow River rose 1.5 degrees Celsius, the highest since 1961, according to the Qinghai climate center.
Dai Sheng, a senior meteorologist with the center, warned that a prolonged drought in the upper Yellow River region will hurt farming, herding, and hydro-electric power stations along the watercourse.