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Unrelenting Heat Scorches Planet, Shattering Records from U.S. to China

HeadlineJul 17, 2023

Suffocating heat is gripping three continents as the summer’s record-breaking temperatures continue to scorch large swaths of the U.S., Asia and Europe. One hundred million U.S. residents remain under extreme heat advisories with dangerous conditions forecast this week in the South, the Southwest and South Florida. In Arizona, an unrelenting heat wave is on track to break the previous record of 18 straight days of 110-degrees-plus highs in Phoenix. Some of those most at risk include people who work outdoors, like construction workers, as well as unhoused people.

Kevin Hendershot: “I’ve been here for 12 years, and I haven’t seen nothing like it. It’s hot. … I fell asleep on some hot concrete, and my whole left side got third-degree burns on them, you know? So, that’s an eye-opener.”

Europe could record its hottest day ever on the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Over the weekend, Italian authorities issued an “extreme” health risk in 16 cities including Rome and Florence. Italians flocked to lakes and seasides in an attempt to cool down.

Federico Bratti: “This is not normal. I don’t remember such intense heat, especially at this time of year.”

In northern Syria, displaced people describe the conditions at camps as akin to living in an oven. Children and elderly people are some of the most vulnerable and have scarce options for relief amid 108-degree heat.

Meanwhile, China just recorded its highest known temperature as the thermometer hit 126 degrees Fahrenheit, smashing the previous record by three degrees.

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