Wildfires and scorching heat battered Europe and other parts of the world over the week. At 52.2 degrees Celsius, a village in China’s Xinjiang region recorded the hottest mid-July in the country’s history. The previous record was 50.6 degrees Celsius set in 2017. In the U.S., Death Valley, where the hottest temperature on earth was recorded at 56.7 degrees Celsius in 1913, became a marker for the rest of the country. Furnace Creek in the area saw the mercury touch 53.3 degrees Celsius on July 16. Tourists flocked for a photo with the digital thermometer at the location, turning an occasion portending climate catastrophe into a festive affair.
Various parts of Europe sizzled in one of the most intense summers on the continent. Greece is battling wildfires at a region near Athens, and officials have employed water bombers to aid in the effort. However, strong winds are hampering the fight. A summer camp with more than 1,200 children had to be evacuated. The Acropolis, one of Greece’s top tourist destinations, had to be partially shut owing to heatwaves.
Italy and Spain bore the brunt of the heat. Tuesday became Rome’s hottest day on record, witnessing 41.8 degrees Celsius. Zoo animals were fed frozen food and fruit popsicles. More than 4,000 people had to be evacuated after a fire tore through Spain’s La Palma and burned down 3,500 hectares of land.
July 3 was the hottest day ever recorded globally, show data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The average global temperature reached 17.01 degrees Celsius on that day, surpassing the August 2016 record of 16.92 degrees Celsius as heatwaves sizzled around the world.
Canada on alert: An air tanker drops fire retardant, as a fresh wildfire starts outside Vanderhoof in the province of British Columbia in Canada on July 17.
Tree loss: A view of the Young Creek wildfire in Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park, British Columbia. Canadian wildfires have burned more than 10 million hectares this year.
Tired out: A man rests during a hot day in Madrid. Most of Spain is under alert for extreme heat with forecasts predicting temperatures of 43 degrees Celsius along the Ebro River.
In good hands: Greek policemen helps move a child from an area affected by wildfire in the village of Agios Charamlabos, near the capital Athens on July 18. Health authorities have sounded alarms from North America to Europe and Asia, urging people to stay hydrated.
Grey smog: A boat passes by Battery Park, New York, amid a smoky haze from wildfires in Canada.
Quenching thirst: A person fills a bottle at Fontana della Barcaccia at the Spanish Steps during a heat wave across Italy.
It’s mine: Polar bears gather around a block of ice at Asahiyama Zoo in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, northern Japan.
Brief respite: A woman takes a breather at a cooling mist spot in Tokyo.
Small mercies: People eat free ice cream given to them by restaurant staff as they wait for a table during a heatwave in Beijing.
Staying safe: A vendor sells face masks at the Staten Island Ferry amid a smoky haze from wildfires in Canada.