Heatwaves continue to break temperature records across the globe

Heatwaves around the world continue to break temperature records. Across vast swathes of the planet, from California to China, authorities have warned of the health dangers of the extreme heat, urging people to drink water and shelter from the burning sun. 

In Spain, many thermometers exceed 30 °C in the early morning and 40 °C at midday.

Heatwaves now last longer due to climate change, and residents no longer know how to keep cool.

“It is complicated because you cannot defend yourself against the heat. Against the cold weather you cover yourself, but against the heat there is nothing you can do,” said a Spanish citizen. 

Several Spanish regions are on alert for extreme temperatures. The El Niño phenomenon is partly to blame, although it is not the only factor.

“The global temperatures are now warmer than El Niños back in the 1980s. So the global trend is continuing to grow. So I don’t know that we can actually talk about ‘normals’ because it will keep changing. It will just keep getting warmer,” said John Nairn, a senior extreme heat advisor at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

In the meantime, Italy is sweating under the African anticyclone dubbed Charon that has put a score of cities, including Rome, on red alert. 

The WMO says Europe could break its record high temperature of 48.8 °C, recorded in Sicily in 2021.

But the heatwave is not limited to Europe. North America and North Asia are also registering abnormally high temperatures. In Tokyo, temperatures this week exceeded 37 °C.

In other parts of Asia, record temperatures have triggered torrential rain. Nearly 260,000 people were evacuated in southern China and Vietnam before a typhoon made landfall late Monday, bringing fierce winds and rain, but weakening to a tropical storm by Tuesday.

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