A global heat wave spanning much of the Northern Hemisphere continued yesterday (July 17, 2023) breaking or nearing heat records and setting off health alerts in regions across Asia, Europe, North Africa, and the United States. The latest stretch of extreme heat comes after global average temperatures reached their highest level on record last month.
Phoenix recorded its 19th consecutive day with temperatures reaching at least 110 degrees, breaking a five-decade-old record. On Sunday, China recorded its highest-ever temperature at 126 degrees, while Europe came close to its record of 120 degrees; an airport in Iran saw the heat index—which accounts for humidity’s effect—reach a dangerous 152 degrees. The World Meteorological Organization warned of an increased risk of heat-related deaths in light of the hemisphere-wide trend.
Additionally, California’s Death Valley came within 2 degrees of the hottest air temperature record on Earth, while in nearby Las Vegas, several passengers awaiting takeoff fainted amid triple-digit temperatures. Read what extreme heat does to the human body here.