The northern hemisphere is on fire and, where it's not, it is probably baking. Even the southern hemisphere is unduly warm in its mid-winter.
Forest fires are sweeping the west again. I'm noticing the odd waft of smoke and I'm well west of the interior fire zone on the mainland.
Even New York Magazine is sounding the alarm.
From Japan to Sweden, and Oman to Texas, a global heat wave is setting records, igniting wildfires, and killing dozens all across the world this week.Triple digit (Fahrenheit) temperatures for most of the American southwest and Mississippi basin this week. Electrical grids straining to meet the demand for air conditioning.
...Across the globe in Kyoto, Japan, Thursday marked the seventh straight day of temperatures that exceeded 100 degrees, breaking all known records for the ancient capital city. At least 30 people have died in Japan during the heat wave, which has complicated rescue efforts following floods and landslides that killed more than 200 in western Japan earlier this month.
On Thursday alone ten people died and 2,605 people were sent to hospitals in Tokyo due to heat, the Japan Times reports. The day before, Tokyo rescue workers set a record by responding to more than 3,000 emergency calls.
Meanwhile, in Sweden, the Arctic Circle is on fire.Temperatures recorded in Sweden above the Arctic Circle have broken 90F. For the Arctic Circle that's a summer heatwave. It's drying out the tundra and leaving the area vulnerable to wild fires.
The list of areas experiencing extreme temperatures keeps going: An Algerian city earlier this month broke the record for the highest temperature ever in Africa when it hit 124.3 degrees and a city in Oman recorded the highest low temperature — 108.7 degrees — ever recorded on Earth. In Quebec, more than 90 people were killed by extreme heat in early July.
It’s impossible to talk about these extreme temperatures without talking about climate change. Heat domes — high-pressure areas that trap hot air and increase temperatures — are being blamed for these heat waves and they have become more common as the climate has warmed. Research has also repeatedly linked the warming climate to heat waves.
As climate scientist Ben Santer, who linked the burning of fossil fuels to the intense heat waves, told the Los Angeles Times this week, “This isn’t a big scientific surprise.”Of course it isn't a big scientific surprise. It's not a political surprise either. Our petro-pimp parliamentarians don't talk much about it but they've been told what to expect - precisely what's happening - and, in an astonishingly blatant dereliction of duty, they've buried their heads in the sand. They're working for somebody but it isn't you and it sure isn't your grandkids either. You, me, we - we're on our own.