Record-Breaking Heat Around the World (in Photos)

Last month was Earth's hottest June on record. Temperatures soared up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of Europe—and July is off to its own record-shattering start.
Author:
Publish date:

A scorching heat wave throughout much of Europe in the last week of June brought the average recorded temperature for the month to an all-time high, both in Europe and globally, according to data from the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Eight countries experienced their highest temperatures ever recorded in the month of June, including France when it reached a sweltering 114.6 degrees Fahrenheit in Gallargues-le-Montueux­­—the hottest temperature ever recorded in the country in any month.

At least 10 people were confirmed dead from the European heat wave, and, in Paris, the government implemented a ban on cars with poor emissions ratings in an attempt to counteract an increase in air pollution and poor air quality brought on by the higher temperatures. The ban affected more than half the cars registered in the region.

The heat also contributed to major wildfires burning in Spain and France. One fire in Spain reportedly got its start when a pile of manure self-ignited from the heat.

In a press release published Tuesday, E.U. researchers noted that, while it can be difficult to directly link heat waves to climate change, "such extreme weather events are expected to become more common as the planet continues to warm under increasing greenhouse gas concentrations."

Other research groups studying the link between the heat wave and climate change say that human activities made the heat wave in France five times more likely to occur.

June also broke records for the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from wildfires burning in the Arctic circle. Wildfires burning in the Arctic released more than 50 megatons of carbon dioxide, according to scientists who were also using Copernicus data. Vice News reports that's more than all of the carbon dioxide released from fires in the region in the same month from 2010 through to 2018 combined.

Based on what we saw in June, it should come as no surprise that temperatures are already soaring to new record-breaking heights in July. On July 4th, Anchorage, Alaska, experienced an all-time recorded high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit­­—five whole degrees higher than the previous record. The heat wave prompted officials in Anchorage to cancel the city's fireworks display due to concerns about wildfire.

Here are selected images from the heat wave in Europe and Alaska.

section-break
People bathe in the Trocadero Fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris during a heat wave on June 28th, 2019. The temperature in France on June 28th surpassed 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time as Europe wilted in a major heat wave, state weather forecaster Meteo-France said.

People bathe in the Trocadero Fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris during a heat wave on June 28th, 2019. The temperature in France on June 28th surpassed 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time as Europe wilted in a major heat wave, state weather forecaster Meteo-France said.

A personal care assistant gives a glass of water to an elderly person as she visits her house to help her to avoid heatstroke and dehydration during the heat wave on June 25th, 2019, in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

A personal care assistant gives a glass of water to an elderly person as she visits her house to help her to avoid heatstroke and dehydration during the heat wave on June 25th, 2019, in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

A helicopter drops water over a wildfire in the outskirts of Cenicientos in central Spain on June 29th, 2019. Spain was hit by more wildfires as temperatures remained sky-high in the Europe-wide heat wave, authorities said, just as firefighters finally managed to contain another blaze they had been tackling for nearly 72 hours.

A helicopter drops water over a wildfire in the outskirts of Cenicientos in central Spain on June 29th, 2019. Spain was hit by more wildfires as temperatures remained sky-high in the Europe-wide heat wave, authorities said, just as firefighters finally managed to contain another blaze they had been tackling for nearly 72 hours.

A firefighter takes the blood pressure of a woman suffering from the heat in Tours on June 27th, 2019, during a heat wave. Europeans braced on June 27th for the expected peak of a sweltering heat wave that has sent temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), with schools in France closing and wildfires in Spain spinning out of control.

A firefighter takes the blood pressure of a woman suffering from the heat in Tours on June 27th, 2019, during a heat wave. Europeans braced on June 27th for the expected peak of a sweltering heat wave that has sent temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), with schools in France closing and wildfires in Spain spinning out of control.

People swarm a public beach amid a heat wave in Valencia, Spain, on June 29th, 2019.

People swarm a public beach amid a heat wave in Valencia, Spain, on June 29th, 2019.

French police officers check cars for low-emission vehicle decals while restrictive traffic measures are in place to limit a build-up of air pollution during a heat wave on June 27th, 2019, in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon.

French police officers check cars for low-emission vehicle decals while restrictive traffic measures are in place to limit a build-up of air pollution during a heat wave on June 27th, 2019, in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, near Lyon.

People hike on the Byron Glacier on July 4th, 2019, near Portage Lake in Girdwood, Alaska. Alaska is bracing for record warm temperatures and dry conditions in parts of the state. Anchorage hit a record high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit on July 4th.

People hike on the Byron Glacier on July 4th, 2019, near Portage Lake in Girdwood, Alaska. Alaska is bracing for record warm temperatures and dry conditions in parts of the state. Anchorage hit a record high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit on July 4th.

More From Pacific Standard on Extreme Weather

Related