Odds are good that if you are reading these words, you have experienced a heat wave this summer – or, if not, then in another recent summer. These events have indeed been growing more intense in recent years, and they result from more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – or, as one might say in an everyday conversation, from climate change.
You have certainly also read and heard about these heat events. Those collected here include both especially good summaries of the basic facts with their many ramifications, and some especially vivid accounts of the experience of living through them. Future features in this series will focus on other aspects of high heat, including its effects on human health.
Dates are 2022 unless otherwise noted.
Begin with this: Extreme heat around the world in videos, photos and graphics, Matt Fidler, Maheen Sadiq, and Glenn Swann, The Guardian.
In North America:
- As a series of heat waves continues this summer, news stories are still focused on single events or weeks, as in these pieces about the U.S. and Canada.
- In 2021, North American heatwave broke records – and the climate models, Chloé Farand, Climate Home News.
- The U.S. government just launched a new website, HEAT.gov. Veteran environmental and climate journalist and author Andrew Revkin surveys the site here.
In the U.K. and Europe:
- Why this European heat wave is so scary, Jason Samenow, Washington Post.
- Europe’s not ready for a hotter world, Karl Mathiesen, Zia Weise, and Pieter Haeck, Politico.
- China endures summer of extreme weather as record rainfall and scorching heat wave cause havoc, Nectar Gan, CNN.
- What it’s like to live through India’s nonstop heat wave, Archana Chaudhary, Bloomberg.
- As is so often the case, New York Times stories are particularly rich in facts, photos, and human examples. Here’s one from April 2022, The extreme heat pummeling India and Pakistan is about to get worse,Hari Kumar and Mike Ives; and one from July 2018, In India, summer heat may soon be literally unbearable, Somini Sengupta.
- Early heatwaves foreshadow uncertain future in South Asia, Zuha Siddiqui, The Third Pole, 2021.
In Siberia, 2020:
- Record heat wave in Siberia: What happens when climate change goes extreme?Martin Kuebler and Tim Schauenberg, DW.
- A historic heat wave roasts Siberia, New York Times, Anton Troianovski.
- For something different and very interesting, watch this videotaped Zoom talk by an environmental historian who focuses on the Russian and North American Arctic: Portrait of a summer on fire: covid, climate change, and the ties that bind us, Bathsheba Demuth, Spring Creek Project.
In the southern hemisphere:
- Australia ties Southern Hemisphere’s all-time heat record of 123°F; epic heat cooks Argentina, Jeff Masters, Yale Climate Connections.
- Buenos Aires hits 106 degrees amid severe South American heat wave, Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post.
- Australia sizzles through record heat wave as Sydney faces ‘catastrophic’ fire danger, Andrew Freedman, Washington Post, 2019.
In the eastern hemisphere:
- Extreme record-breaking heat: heatwaves and fires scorch Europe, Africa, and Asia (Sara E. Pratt, NASA Earth Observatory, SciTechDaily).
- In 2021 in the Middle East (Washington Post); Greece (The Verge); and Turkey (Gizmodo).
- In Africa, South Africa unprepared for intense heatwaves of the next 20 years (2021, Sheree Bega, Mail & Guardian) and Extreme heat is a threat to lives in Africa, but it’s not being monitored (2020, Luke Harrington and Friederike Otto, The Conversation).
In the world’s oceans:
- Extreme heat in oceans ‘passed point of no return’ in 2014, Damian Carrington, The Guardian.
- ‘They’re going to get worse and worse’: Marine heat wave persists off Sydney, Mongabay.com.
- Heatwaves sweeping oceans ‘like wildfires’, scientists reveal, Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 2019.
On the science of connected heatwaves:
- Heat waves around the world are connected, scientists say, Andrew Freedman, Axios. On the same study, More frequent European heat waves linked to changes in jet stream, Columbia Climate School.
- Record-shattering heat becoming much more likely, says climate study, Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 2021.
- And on how scientists know that climate change is to blame, see Rebecca Hersher’s NPR story and the heatwave page of the World Weather Attribution website.
This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.