Summer has just started in the northern hemisphere, but it’s already…intense heat waves are hitting many parts of the world, from Europe to China to the US, where record temperatures are expected this weekend — another sign of worsening extreme weather events due to climate change.

More than 100 million Americans live in areas for which a warning has been issued for extreme heat, according to the government website Texas, Arizona, Nevada and California are expected to experience potentially dangerous weather in the coming days, with the possibility of record temperatures, the US weather service warned.

At the same time Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Poland are also facing heat wave Temperatures are expected to reach 48 degrees Celsius in Sicily and Sardinia “possibly the hottest ever recorded in Europe”, according to the European space agency.

Similar are the weather conditions in North Africa. Heat waves have been recorded in Morocco since the start of summer, while a red heat alert has been issued for several provinces.

Some areas of China, including Beijing, are also suffering from the heat. One of the country’s main power companies announced that Monday saw a record daily output due to increased demand due to the heatwave.

Globally, June was the hottest ever recorded, according to the European Copernicus agency and the US NASA and NOAA. Then the first week of July was also the hottest on record, based on preliminary data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

According to WMO, heat is one of the deadliest meteorological phenomena. Last year, more than 60,000 people died in Europe alone due to extreme heat, a recent survey revealed.

But the extreme weather phenomena, the frequency of which is increasing due to climate change, “unfortunately are reduced to a new normality”, the Secretary General of the WMO, Peteri Taalas, said in a statement yesterday.

The meteorological phenomenon El Nino, which generally causes the global temperature to rise, worsens the situation.

Fires, floods, heat

Catastrophic weather phenomena have already been recorded in the US. Wildfires from Canada, where 500 fires are still burning out of control, caused several episodes of air pollution in the northern US in June.

Flooding hit the state of Vermont this week.

Scientists point out that climate change may also cause more frequent and intense rainfall, as water vapor in the atmosphere increases.

Finally, a heat wave has been recorded in the southern US for weeks. Over the weekend in Death Valley, California, the air temperature may reach the highest point ever recorded on Earth, pointed out climatologist Daniel Swain of the University of California.

Officially the absolute world record it has been recorded at 56.7 degrees Celsius by the PMO. This was recorded in Death Valley in 1913 but many scientists do not consider it reliable, explained Swain, who considers the record of 54.4 degrees Celsius recorded in the same area in 2020 and 2021 more reliable.

Sea heatwaves

Not even the oceans have escaped the heat.

In southern Florida, in the US, the water temperature near the coast exceeds 32 degrees Celsius, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The water surface temperature in the Mediterranean will be “extremely high in the coming days and weeks”, sometimes exceeding 30 degrees Celsius.

Sea heat waves have devastating effects on the species that live there, on their survival and migration, but also on fisheries.

Compared to the pre-industrial era, the Earth’s temperature has already increased by almost 1.2 degrees Celsius due to human activity, mainly fossil fuels.

For Taalas, this year’s heat waves underscore “the growing need to reduce greenhouse gases as soon as possible and as much as possible.”