Heat records are not uncommon these days as Earth’s temperature continues to rise. Summer lovers may be excited to enjoy an extra hot day, but neither human bodies or our creations are built for extreme temperature. This is a problem that is slowly getting out of hand. Some countries are already changing their infrastructures to accommodate for a hotter, less-livable climate. If you live in half of the world that is currently experiencing one of the hottest weeks of the year, I highly recommend that you turn up the AC, stay in the shade and stay hydrated while reading this article.
1. Beijing: 39°C (102.2°F) – Heat Record
I spent two years living in Shanghai, China. One thing I didn’t research before making the move was the summer temperatures. When I got off the plane on July 23rd 2016 at midnight, I was shocked that it was almost 35°C (95°F)! It took a while to get used to but my body did eventually adjust to the sweltering heat. I still had to suppress a giggle when top news on my WeChat was that a man from Africa collapsed from heat stroke in Beijing!
Obviously, this is no laughing matter. But the irony of someone coming to China from a country that is known for being hot and struggling with the heat was inappropriately comical. He was fine after a few minutes in the shade and I’m sure he eventually laughed himself while telling the story to his friends and family. This poor man had trouble at 36°C (96.8°F). Imagine if he was there when it was 39°C!
2. London: 38.7 C (101.6°F)
London is not equipped for heat or snow. When the temperature reaches such heights, all hell breaks loose. Even the tram tracks melt which can be very dangerous. I have personally experienced minor melting tram tracks in Prague on extra hot days! The material used is supposed to be flexible to allow movement but when your foot sinks in and you leave behind a footprint, it’s kinda terrifying.
3. Australia: 40.9°C (105.6°F)
On December 17th in 2019, Australia broke it’s temperature records! It was the third day in a row of temperatures over 40°C (104°F)! This heat has been particularly dangerous combined with the drought and fires that had killed millions of animals across the country. Luckily, the more populated areas were spared the intense temperatures as they are by the coast. Still, Australians are worried about the continuously hotter summers that even a country used to warm weather cannot accommodate.
4. California: 53.3°C (128°F)
The USA has been seeing some crazy heat this summer. I live in Rhode Island and have experienced some of it myself with temperatures going over 37°C (98.6°F)! This is nothing compared to what the southern part of the country has been experiencing. California’s notorious hot spot, Death Valley, soared to 53.3°C (128°F) degrees on Sunday, July 12th. Heat warnings have been issues all over the country and people are urged to stay inside, stay hydrated and keep their pets in cooler temperatures. They can easily die from heat stroke when it’s this hot outside.
5. Singapore: 36.4°C (97.52°F) – Heat Record
Everyone expects Singapore to be warm, but it’s hard to understand how hot 36.4°C (97.52°F) really feels like in a certain climate. Singaporeans have been suffering from rising temperatures for years now. When I visited Singapore in February and it was almost too hot to stay outside long. Singapore has been building covered walkways for a while and they currently have over 200km of them. This initiative helps make walking as well as biking safer and encourages taking cars of the road as well.
This summer is among the hottest that the world has ever experienced! Climate change is slowly changing the way live on a daily basis. There are many things we can all do to reduce our footprints and make the world a better, cooler place. If we continue going like this, a lot will have to change for us to survive on this slowly-boiling planet. Read more about global warming and climate change here.
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