It’s so hot, roads are buckling, they’re putting foil on a bridge and roofs are melting around the world
The deadly heat waves of the last week have sparked strange infrastructural events around the world as millions endure searing temperatures that are still on the rise.
It’s so hot, the runway at a London airport melted
The United Kingdom saw its hottest day on record Tuesday, when temperatures breached 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). It’s been so hot that a runway at London Luton Airport on the capital’s outskirts had to be closed off as it melted in the heat.
It’s so hot, a museum roof melted in China
A heat wave has now engulfed half of China, affecting more than 900 million people — or about 64% of the population. All but two northeastern provinces in China have issued high-temperature warnings, with 84 cities issuing their highest-level red alerts last week.
It’s so hot, they’re wrapping a London bridge in foil
The Hammersmith Bridge in London, built in 1887, was closed to all users in August 2020 due to cracks in the pedestals after a heat wave. The council hired world-class engineers to cover the bridge with a “£420,000 ($503,000) temperature control system to keep the bridge at a safe temperature and alleviate any stresses on the pedestals.”
It’s so hot, they’ve painted the railroads white in London
“The rail temperature here is over 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) so we’re painting the rails white to prevent them from getting hotter,” the UK’s Network Rail tweeted Monday.
It’s so hot, pipes are bursting in Texas
Scorching temperatures and a lack of rain have caused the ground in Fort Worth, Texas, to shift, according to the city’s website. The result is “an unusually high number of water main breaks” this summer.
Europe sizzles in record heat wave as thousands flee wildfires
London Heathrow hits 104 degrees, Britain’s highest temperature on record
LONDON — “BRITAIN IS MELTING,” one front page here read Tuesday, as record heat and raging wildfires in France and Spain brought the toll of extreme temperatures up close for many Europeans. As the heat wave moved across the continent, Germany and Belgium also issued heat alerts, while firefighters battled to contain flames that have scorched land in Portugal for days.
The United Kingdom’s weather service declared Tuesday the hottest day on record in Britain, where many schools closed and subway authorities urged commuters to avoid unnecessary travel. London Heathrow was among six locations to reach 104 degrees (40 Celsius) on Tuesday, shattering Britain’s all-time temperature record after the country declared a national emergency, well above the 2019 record of 101.7 degrees (38.7 Celsius).
“Earth sends a warning,” another British headline read…And London’s ambulance service prepared for a surge in emergency calls for fainting and heat exposure. Hundreds of deaths have been attributed to the heat in Spain and Portugal since last week, and wildfires have forced tens of thousands of people out of their homes there, as well as in France.
Even though the telescope’s first full-color results were excellent, they’re merely a taste of the instrument’s capabilities. In truth, we may not even have words to describe what’s to come, in the way the Hubble Space Telescope’s first light image couldn’t foreshadow the astounding deep fields that would one day plaster astronomy department walls or the nebulae that would inspire poetry. Already, researchers are set to point it at phenomena that’ll blow your mind: massive black holes, shattering galaxy mergers, luminescent binary stars emanating smoke signals, and even marvels closer to home like Ganymede, an icy moon of Jupiter.
In southwestern France, wildfires have destroyed at least 19,000 hectares. Flames were still billowing in Gironde early Tuesday after more firefighters were dispatched to region on the west coast, which is lined with popular beaches and vacation spots. Authorities said about 37,000 people had evacuated their homes over the past week.
At a meeting in Berlin, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said Monday in a remote address that world leaders faced a stark choice on climate change, noting that people in Africa, South Asia and Central and South America were 15 times more likely to die from extreme weather events. “Collective action or collective suicide,” he told government representatives. “It is in our hands.”
The heat wave originated from a sprawling area of high pressure over Western Europe, also known as a heat dome. The heat dome ballooned unusually far north because of a low pressure system west of Portugal, whose circulation pumped in hot air from northern Africa. In addition to the excessively hot weather in Britain and eastern parts of France on Tuesday, record-challenging heat was also predicted for Belgium, the Netherlands and western Germany.
Hundreds of temperature records broken as heat wave scorches the U.S.
The deadly heat wave set or tied 359 daily high-temperature records over the last week, along with 709 records for the warmest overnight low temperature, according to NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information.
90 million Americans were under heat warnings and advisories on Sunday. In the past 30 days, 1,403 daily high-temperature records and 2,856 records for warmest overnight low temperature have been set or tied, according to NOAA.
A wildfire that ignited Friday rapidly grew to 6,555 acres through Saturday morning in the Midpines area of Mariposa County, Calif., on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park.
Image courtesy Archyde