Sweltering, dangerous heatwaves and other extreme weather disasters are inflicting damage across Asia, Europe, and North America. In China, an as-yet unreported number of people have died of heat-related causes and flooding has killed over a dozen people across multiple provinces. Both extreme heat and extreme precipitation events which cause flooding are exacerbated by climate change. In Chongqing, the roof of a museum “literally melted,” Reuters reported, and authorities deployed trucks to spray water on roads to cool them — heat in Jiangxi province actually did buckle a section of road.
Large swaths of western Europe are under the highest level of heat warnings, including in the Iberian Peninsula where numerous wildfires have forced evacuations. “I don’t remember anything like what is happening today,” Joaquim Gomes, a 50-year resident of Ourém told Reuters. “It (the fire) is everywhere.” Two massive sections of glacier have also broken free this month, causing avalanches that killed 11 in drought-parched northern Italy and another in the Tian Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan on Friday.
The Texas grid avoided blackouts as Houston, which touts itself as “the most air-conditioned city in the world,” endured record-breaking heat. “This has been the hottest weather I’ve ever seen. It’s really a struggle,” Damon Slater, of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, told the Washington Post. “It’s pretty brutal out there.” (Worldwide: The Guardian; China; Reuters, AP; Europe: CNN; Fires: Reuters, Axios, AP; Economic impacts: Bloomberg $, Grist; Avalanches: Washington Post $; Texas: Washington Post $, Slate, Bloomberg $; Climate Signals background: Extreme heat and heatwaves; Extreme precipitation increase)