The Summer of 2018 is shaping up to be the hottest on record and global climate change is at the root of it.
It was recently reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that the contiguous United States had its warmest May on record, and now temperatures show no signs of cooling down.
The heat has caused cracked roads and roof tiles in Britain to buckle, according to the Daily Mail. Further north in Scotland, a record-shattering 91.8 degrees Fahrenheit was reported In Motherwell.
In Ireland, Belfast created a new record for the United Kingdom overall with temperatures reaching 86.2 degrees Fahrenheit. While temperatures in the 80s and 90s are typical for many states during the summer months, the cooler, wetter climates in Ireland and the UK make the heat wave unprecedented.
The country of Oman in the Middle East experienced the highest nighttime temperature on Earth at 126 Degrees Fahrenheit.
Many cities are issuing heat warnings, and already eight people have died due to the high temperatures in North America.
While heat waves are common and not necessarily always attributable to climate change, this unusual bout of literal global warming is too extreme and too long to be simply explained by natural climate phenomena.
“Summers keep getting hotter,” heat wave expert Friederike Otto of the University of Oxford told the Daily Mail. “Heatwaves are far more intense than when my parents were growing up in the 1950s. If we do nothing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, the kind of extreme heat we saw this past summer will be the norm when my young son is a grown man.”
In the US and Canada, a heat dome that has been lingering over the United States since June is part of the reason temperatures have been so stifling in that region. The dome is now predicted to spread even further throughout the week.
As weather extremes become the new norm and countries around the world experience hotter and hotter summers, more severe hurricane seasons, and frigid winter cold snaps, it can only be hoped that policymakers will work quickly to cap emissions and combat climate change.