Global Heat Waves

Umbrellas can keep the sun away as well as the rain.
Umbrellas can keep the sun away as well as the rain.

In China, over 70 cities were placed under heat alerts this summer. In Europe, many countries faced 100 °F for the first time. Cities all over the United States have had record high temperatures. Heat waves have been a huge problem for countries all over the world this summer.

People are doing what they can to stay cool throughout the world. In some countries, people use umbrellas to keep the sun off of them. Many people are staying indoors during the daytime and only coming outside at night. People who must be outside during the day are filling coolers filled with ice and cold drinks. Sometimes they even dump the buckets of ice water over their heads.  

These methods aren’t just being used to stay comfortable. Summer heat can be deadly, causing heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and dehydration [loss of water from the body]. Heat also makes other health problems, such as heart conditions, much worse.

Spain and Portugal have reported 2,000 heat-related deaths in July. Many other countries have suffered heat-related deaths as well, with death tolls expected to rise.

In addition to health problems, these heat waves are causing other problems around the world. The hot, dry weather is making it hard for crops to grow. This will push food prices higher. Europe and the United States are experiencing more wildfires than usual. Additionally, many structures in Europe were not built to withstand such high temperatures. Bridges, roads, and railroad tracks are having trouble withstanding the heat Europe is experiencing. One train track in England even caught fire.

What Can You Do? Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly. Make sure they are staying cool.

Photo Credit: Richard Silver Photo/Moment/Getty Images