During the hottest month that humans have ever recorded, a local television station in the Netherlands aired nonstop images of wintry landscapes to help viewers momentarily forget the heat wave outside.
Officials in Switzerland and elsewhere painted stretches of rail tracks white, hoping to keep them from buckling in the extreme heat. At the port of Antwerp, two alleged drug dealers called police for help after they got stuck inside a shipping container filled with cocaine and feared they would suffocate in the heat. In Paris, people piled into movie theaters — some of the only air-conditioned places in town.
Wildfires raged across millions of acres in the Arctic. A massive ice melt event in Greenland sent hundreds of billions of tons of water pouring into the Atlantic Ocean, raising sea levels. And temperature records evaporated, one after another: 101.7 degrees Fahrenheit in Cambridge, England, and 108.7F in Paris. The same in Lingen, Germany.
“We have always lived through hot summers. But this is not the summer of our youth. This is not your grandfather’s summer,” United Nations Secretary General António Guterres told reporters as July gave way to August. [Continue reading…]