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[Slashdot] - CNN Reports 'Unprecedented Heat, Hundreds Dead' as Climate Change Hits the Northern Hemisphere


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Canada's highest temperature ever recorded happened Tuesday, in the small British Columbia town of Lytton, reports CNN. But it's just part of "an unprecedented heat wave that has over a week killed hundreds of people and triggered more than 240 wildfires" across the Canadian province — "most of which are still burning." Lytton hit 49.6 degrees Celsius (121.3 degrees Fahrenheit), astounding for the town of just 250 people nestled in the mountains, where June maximum temperatures are usually around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit). This past week, however, its nights have been hotter than its days usually are, in a region where air conditioning is rare and homes are designed to retain heat. Now fires have turned much of Lytton to ash and forced its people, as well as hundreds around them, to flee. Scientists have warned for decades that climate change will make heat waves more frequent and more intense. That is a reality now playing out in Canada, but also in many other parts of the northern hemisphere that are increasingly becoming uninhabitable. Roads melted this week in America's northwest, and residents in New York City were told not to use high-energy appliances, like washers and dryers — and painfully, even their air conditioners — for the sake of the power grid. In Russia, Moscow reported its highest-ever June temperature of 34.8 degrees Celsius (94 degrees Fahrenheit) on June 23, and Siberian farmers are scrambling to save their crops from dying in an ongoing heat wave. Even in the Arctic Circle, temperatures soared into the 30s [above 86 degrees Fahrenheit]. The World Meteorological Organization is seeking to verify the highest-ever temperature north of the Arctic Circle since records there began, after a weather station in Siberia's Verkhoyansk recorded a 38-degree day on June 20 [over 100 degrees Fahrenheit]. In India, tens of millions of people in the northwest were affected by heat waves... And in Iraq, authorities announced a public holiday across several provinces for Thursday, including the capital Baghdad, because it was simply too hot to work or study, after temperatures surpassed 50 degrees and its electricity system collapsed.

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