Huge swaths of the Northern Hemisphere are sweltering under extreme heat as summer begins. At least 30 million people in the U.S. were under a heat advisory on Thursday, and at least 113 weather stations tied or broke hot-temperature records in the second half of June. Extreme heat is a clear signal of climate change, mainly caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels.
“It’s easy to look at these figures and forget the immense misery they represent, Texas A&M climate scientist Andrew Dessler told the AP. “People who can’t afford air conditioning and people who work outdoors have only one option, to suffer.”
Not limited to the contiguous U.S., the dry heat has fueled the incineration of more than 1 million acres across Alaska already this year – the fastest that much has ever burned on record. (Heat: AP, Washington Post $, Texas Climate News, Washington Post $, Alaska: Washington Post $; Climate Signals background: Extreme heat and heatwaves, Wildfires)