A parched planet: Record-breaking heat blanketing four continents in July

July has brought record-breaking heat to people around the world.  

In the last 30 days, there have been 3,173 new daily maximum temperatures, 159 new hottest months and 53 new all-time highs worldwide, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In the U.S. alone, there have been 1,566 new daily maximum temperatures, 86 new hottest months and 24 new all-time highs during the same time period, most of which were recorded in Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana.

From Algeria’s deserts to Japan’s bustling cities, here are some of the historic temperatures that have affected four continents this month.

Japan and the Korean Peninsula

On Monday, Japan recorded its highest temperature ever at 106 degrees in Kumagaya. More than 65 people have died during this heat wave because of health complications such as heat stroke and dehydration. More than 22,000 people have been taken to hospitals across the country for heat-related health complications. 

Officials are calling the heat a natural disaster, and the Japanese Meteorological Agency is predicting that temperatures will continue to be 95 degrees and higher into August. 

In South Korea, 10 people have died from heat-related health complications, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday. Officials said more than 1,040 people reported dehydration and other heat-related illnesses from May 20 to July 21, a 61 percent increase over the same period last year. 

Temperatures reached up to 103.8 in Hayang, South Korea, the highest temperature in the country this year. In North Korea, temperatures have also reached up to 104 degrees, The Associated Press reported

“It is so hot these days that I cannot figure out whether I am in (South Korea) or in Southeast Asia,” Kim Sung-hee, a student in downtown Seoul, told ABC News. 

Canada 

More than 70 people died from blistering heat in late June and early July in central and eastern Canada. 34 of these deaths occurred in Montreal from June 29 to July 7 alone, NPR reported.  

Most of the people who died were elderly and lived in apartments with no air conditioning, David Kaiser, a physician manager at the Montreal Regional Department of Public Health, told NPR. Most also had chronic physical and mental health conditions.

Montreal’s emergency services said in a statement that it received more than 1,200 heat-related calls each day in the first days of July. Montreal’s fire and police departments visited more than 20,000 homes to check on residents. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to warn Canadians to take precautions against the heat. 

Germany 

Temperatures reached up to 97 degrees in parts of Germany on Wednesday, according to the German Meteorological Office (DWD). Tuesday was the warmest day of the year, with temperatures peaking at 96.6 degrees in the northern town of Lingen. 

“It cooled down a bit last night – although, ‘cooled down’ is a bit of an overstatement,” a spokesperson for DWD told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, a German news agency. 

The heat is also affecting industries across the country. German farmers have expressed concern about how the temperatures will affect this year’s harvests. The German Farmers’ Association said the heat alone has killed up to $1.6 billion in crops, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported. 

At an airport in Hanover, officials had to delay flights when planes landing in high heat damaged tarmacs. 41 departures and 44 arrivals were delayed, DW reported. Flights resumed normally Wednesday morning.  

German officials are advising people to drink plenty of water and stay inside. However, most offices and schools in Germany do not have air conditioning, so Andreas Matzarakis, a medical meteorologist with the DWD, told DW employees should take advantage of vacation days and flexible hours to avoid the heat. 

 

Algeria 

Ouargla, Algeria, experienced the hottest reliably measured temperature in Africa at 124.3 on July 5. The city is the capital of the Ouargla Province in the Sahara Desert.

Though temperatures of 131 were recorded in Kebili, Tunisia, in 1931, historians have doubts on how that record was recorded. 

This heat has played a role in Algeria’s recent human rights violations. Since May 2017, the Algerian government has expelled more than 13,000 migrants, including pregnant women and children, into the desert’s blistering heat. Algerian officials forced hundreds of migrants at gunpoint into the desert every week and forced them to walk in temperatures up to 118 degrees, The Associated Press reported

Scandinavia 

Scandinavian countries have also seen record-high temperatures this month. In Sweden, temperatures have caused upward of 50 forest fires, affecting central, western and northern parts of the country inside the Arctic Circle.

Nearly 100 people were forced to evacuate their homes last week, according to Swedish officials. Officials also said Jamtland, Vasterbotten, Gavleborg and Dalarna counties were hit hardest. No deaths or injuries have been reported from the fires yet.

The Swedish government has called for international assistance to fight the fires from the European Commission. Italy, France, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Lithuania and Poland have all sent reinforcements including firefighters, vehicles, planes and helicopters to help put out the blazes.

“We need tankers, we need helicopters. We don’t have enough supplies,” Thomas Aronsson, chief of operations for SITS, a specialist firefighting service based in Sweden, told CNN Wednesday.

Temperatures in Kvikkjokk reached 90.5 on Tuesday, an all-time high for the city and nearly 20 degrees higher than the country’s normal July temperatures. In southern Sweden, Uppsala hit 93.9 Monday, its highest temperature since 1975.

In Norway, temperatures reached up to 90.7 in Namsskogan and Mo I Rana on Tuesday, both all-time records. Snasa also hit 88.9 on Monday, also an all-time record for the small town. 

In northern Finland, temperatures reached 90 degrees in Rovanemi. In the southern part of the country, Turku hit 91.9, the hottest day since 1914. 

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