The intense heat that is affecting much of the United States is putting pressure on the nation’s power grid. Record-high temperatures are being recorded in China and Europe. Extreme weather has ravaged India, where torrential rains have caused deadly landslides this week.

And there is little relief in sight.

On Thursday, a day after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last month was the planet’s hottest June since 1850, its forecasters said August was unlikely to bring calm, at least in the United States. The agency is predicting unusually high temperatures for most of the country next month, almost everywhere except the northern Great Plains.

Late Thursday, the operator of the electricity network of California issued an emergency alert encouraging people to conserve electricity as high temperatures put unusual strain on the system. In Phoenix, the temperature hit 116 degrees Thursday, extending the city’s record streak to 21 straight days with temperatures of 110 degrees or higher.

The first two weeks of July were probably the hottest on Earth’s record for any time of the year, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Some scientists have suggested that last month’s heat wave was five times more likely and 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it would have been without climate change. Although heat waves occur naturally, June’s extreme highs in temperatures across the globe were highly unlikely to have occurred without global warming, said John Nielsen-Gammon, director of the Southern Regional Climate Center.

In Asia, extremely high temperatures have accompanied an intense monsoon season that has already claimed more than 100 lives. India, South Korea and Japan, with the full death toll likely to be considerably higher.

In India, intense heat has been replaced by severe rainfall in much of the country, especially in the Himalayan states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The intense rains have caused massive landslides and flash floods, killing at least 130 people in the past 26 days in northern India.

An April report by the government of India foreshadowed such problematic weather, warning that “with unchecked global warming, the probability of compound extremes such as the simultaneous occurrence of droughts and heat waves is also likely to increase.” Droughts can make flash floods more likely because soil becomes less absorbent.

Heat waves in India normally occur before the monsoon season, from March to June. But this year, temperatures remained extremely high for much longer, reflecting steady warming in recent years. While a temperature of 91 degrees or higher was recorded, on average, 70 days per year between 1961 and 1990, between 1991 to 2022 there was an average of 89 days hitting that mark.

Much of China also continued to bake on Friday as its heat wave smashed records across the country.

The extreme western region of Xinjiang was particularly hard hit. Temperatures in a remote desert town hit 126 degrees on Sunday, reportedly breaking the previous record for the highest temperature in China. Parts of Xinjiang were expected to continue to see temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, according to official media. The authorities also said they were on guard for possible forest fires in northern Xinjiang.

The end of July is historically the hottest time of the year in southern China, and officials there warned that high humidity would make temperatures feel nearly 20 degrees warmer than the actual measurements.

China’s largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake, entered its dry season on Thursday, the earliest start to the season since record-keeping began in the 1950s. according to the authorities in Jiangxi province. They cited the continuous heat, as well as a lack of rainfall, as the reason for alarmingly low water levels.

In northern China, several cities, including Beijing, broke records for most days in a year above 95 degrees, although heavy rains that began Thursday night were expected to finally bring some relief.

But the storms brought their own concerns, as officials warned of possible flash flooding around the capital. Two years ago on July 20, 2021, the city of Zhengzhou, in central China, recorded what state media said was the heaviest rain ever recorded in one hour in the country, as torrential rains killed at least 300 people.

In the United States, forecasters said the current heat wave is expected to continue through the weekend in the Deep South and Southeast and into next week for the Southwest. Nearly 80 million Americans are expected to experience temperatures above 105 in the next few days, the National Weather Service said.

More than a quarter of the US population experienced dangerous heat on Thursday, according to a New York Times analysis of daily weather and population data.

Severe storms, especially in the southeastern United States, added to the toll that the heat took on energy supplies. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power when strong thunderstorms knocked out power lines; 150,000 homes were without power in Georgia, and in western Tennessee, 52,000 homes and businesses suffered blackouts on Thursday.

In Europe, the scorching temperatures have taken a particular toll on older people, with southern European nations joined by others as far north as Belgium in setting up heat plans, many aimed at protecting older populations.

Extreme heat can be dangerous to anyone’s body, but older people and outdoor workers are at particular risk. Summer heat waves in Europe last year may have killed 61,000 people across the continent, according to a recent study.

This year’s heat and humidity have been particularly devastating in northern Mexico, where more than 100 people have died of heat-related causes after a “heat dome” parked over the region, according to reports from the federal health ministry.

Heat domes are weather phenomena that form naturally from time to time. Some meteorologists and climate scientists believe that a warming Arctic is slowing the jet stream, which means that such weather systems stay in one place longer.

Mr. Nielsen-Gammon of the Southern Regional Climate Center said it was too early to know if that happened in the case of the heat dome over Mexico and the southern United States.

Reporting was contributed by Suhasini Raj in New Delhi and Vivian Wang in Beijing. Li You contributed research from Shanghai.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *