Heat records set as Northern Hemisphere sizzles

Molten tar on the tyre of a truck in Atherton Tablelands, North Queensland, Australia, yesterday. Hot weather in the area had melted the bitumen and several motorists had to replace their tyres.
Molten tar on the tyre of a truck in Atherton Tablelands, North Queensland, Australia, yesterday. Hot weather in the area had melted the bitumen and several motorists had to replace their tyres.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON • Heat records have been set all over the world in the past week. From the normally mild summer climes of Ireland, Scotland and Canada to the scorching Middle East, many places in the Northern Hemisphere have witnessed their hottest weather on record.

In eastern Canada, 19 people have died under scorching summer temperatures. Large areas of heat pressure or heat domes scattered around the hemisphere led to the sweltering temperatures.

Normally green Britain has turned brown after the second-hottest June on record. Much of the country also had the driest June.

No single record, in isolation, can be attributed to global warming. But collectively, these heat records are consistent with the kind of extremes that are expected to increase in a warming world. The following are some of the recent hot-weather milestones.

NORTH AMERICA

A massive and intense heat dome has consumed the eastern two-thirds of the United States and south-eastern Canada since late last week. It has not only been hot but also exceptionally humid. Denver tied its all-time high-temperature record of 40.5 deg C last Thursday.

Montreal experienced its highest temperature in recorded history, dating back 147 years, of 36.6 deg C on Monday. The city also posted its most extreme midnight combination of heat and humidity.

EUROPE

Excessive heat torched the British Isles late last week. The stifling heat caused roads and roofs to buckle, the Weather Channel reported, and resulted in multiple record highs.

Scotland provisionally set its hottest temperature on record. The UK Met Office reported that Motherwell, about 20km south-east of Glasgow, hit 33.2 deg C last Thursday, passing the previous record set in August 2003 at Greycrook. Additionally, Glasgow had its hottest day on record, hitting 31.9 deg C.

In Ireland last Thursday, Shannon hit 32 deg C, its record.

EURASIA

A large dome of high pressure, or heat dome, has persistently sat on top of Eurasia over the past week, resulting in some extraordinarily hot weather.

In Tbilisi, Georgia, on Wednesday, the mercury soared to 40.5 deg C, a new record high.

In Yerevan, Armenia, on Monday, temperatures soared to 42 deg C, a record high for July and tying its record for any month.

Several locations in southern Russia topped or matched their warmest June temperatures on record last Thursday.

MIDDLE EAST

Quriyat, Oman, posted the world's hottest low temperature for the day on June 28 - 42.6 deg C.

These various records add to a growing list of heat milestones set over the past 15 months that are part and parcel of a planet that is trending hotter as greenhouse gas concentrations increase because of human activity.

In April, Pakistan posted the highest temperature ever observed on earth during the month at 50.2 deg C.

WASHINGTON POST, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2018, with the headline 'Heat records set as Northern Hemisphere sizzles'. Print Edition | Subscribe