Smokey Bear wears a protective face mask as he warns of High Fire Danger at the Riverside Drive and Los Feliz Blvd entrance to Griffith Park in Los Angeles Tuesday, May 26, 2020 as the Southland’s latest heat wave will send the mercury soaring into triple-digit territory raising the risk of heat-related illnesses.
Al Seib | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Parts of the U.S. are under excessive heat warnings as a heat wave threatens to send temperatures into the triple digits over the next few days.
Some states in the Northeast are already boiling, including Burlington, Vermont, which hit 95 degrees Fahrenheit this week after experiencing snow just a couple weeks ago, as well as upstate New York.
In the West, cities including Phoenix, Fresno and Las Vegas are under excessive heat warnings with expected highs of more than 100 degrees.
It’s not just the U.S. facing staggering temperatures. Montreal on Wednesday had its second hottest day on record with temperatures reaching 98 degrees.
India is also struggling with scorching temperatures that reached 118 degrees in the capital New Delhi this week and 122 degrees in Rajasthan, a state in northern India. The heat adds pressure on the country as it struggles to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic and faces a massive locust invasion.
2019 was the second-hottest year ever, capping off the hottest decade in recorded history as Earth grapples with climate change. Six of the warmest years on record occurred during the past decade.
Given the alarming rate of global warming, 2020 will likely be among the five hottest years on record, according to scientists from the National Centers for Environmental Information.
A worker quenches his thirst with water from a bottle taking a break from cleaning weeds from a park near India Gate amid rising temperatures in New Delhi on May 27, 2020.
Jewel Samad | AFP | Getty Images
Siberia, one of the coldest regions in the world, experienced record-breaking heat this week with highs reaching over 80 degrees versus the historic average of 59 degrees.
The heatwave in Siberia raises major concerns over devastating wildfires breaking out this summer as climate change accelerates permafrost melt in much of the Arctic region.
Russia averaged nearly 11 degrees above average temperatures January to April this year — the largest anomaly ever seen in any country’s national average during that time period, according to Berkeley Earth lead scientist Robert Rohde.
Mika Rantanen, a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, said the heat has serious consequences for earlier Arctic sea ice melt and a more destructive forest fire season.
“Siberia has not been warm only during this week, but the whole 2020 so far has been anomalously warm in these areas,” Rantanen said.