The roof of the Glasgow Science Building has melted off; 50 separate fires have been blazing in Sweden; Montreal’s morgue is overflowing with victims of the sweltering conditions; and the West’s wild horses are in danger because of the persistent heat and little rain. Algeria registered the highest temperature ever recorded on the entire continent of Africa this past week: 51.3 degrees Celsius, or 124.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
How did we arrive at this sweaty juncture? It seems like a combination of factors are interacting to create above average temperatures across the globe. Meteorologists have attributed some of the global heat to the weak jet stream, which causes high pressure, hot weather systems to linger for longer. A similar global heat wave hit in 1976: the difference now? Baseline temperatures are higher due partly to global warming.
This chart shows the historic and current average high temperatures for the month of July.
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