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By Joe McCarthy
This past June was the third hottest June in recorded history—only 2016 and 2015 had hotter Junes.
The global average temperature has been surpassing the 20th century average for 41 straight years. "Record-breaking temperatures" has almost become a platitude since the turn of the century, yet the consequences of this shift are devastating communities and environments in new ways around the world.
For instance, heat-related deaths are expected to double in urban India by the end of the century. Heat waves are causing extensive crop failures and coral reefs are being cooked alive, undermining entire marine ecosystems. Rising temperatures in the Arctic, meanwhile, threaten to rearrange coastal populations around the world.
Heat waves in the Arctic are a bizarre phenomenon, but heat waves in other parts of the world are normal parts of life.
While adapting to rising heat isn't easy anywhere in the world, these places have a little more experience.
Here are six of the hottest places in the world.
1. Death Valley, U.S.
Simplethrill / Flickr
Death Valley is the driest and hottest place in the U.S. In the summer of 1913, it reached a reported 134 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest temperature ever recorded.
Wind and water rarely reach this low-slung valley because of surrounding mountain ranges, which means that the air that travels into Death Valley doesn't move much, causing it to heat up as it bakes in the sun.
Not many humans live in Death Valley, but a wide range of plants and animals do call this place home, including bobcats, birds and fish.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Tim Lydon
Climate-related disasters are on the rise, and carbon emissions are soaring. Parents today face the unprecedented challenge of raising children somehow prepared for a planetary emergency that may last their lifetimes. Few guidebooks are on the shelves for this one, yet, but experts do have advice. And in a bit of happy news, it includes strategies already widely recognized as good for kids.
Be it Nina Simone and James Brown for civil rights, Joni Mitchell and Marvin Gaye for the environment, or Jackson Browne and Buffalo Springfield for nuclear disarmament, musicians have long helped push social movements into the limelight.
42 Nobel Laureates Urge Trudeau to Act With 'Moral Clarity' and Stop Climate-Wrecking Teck Frontier Mine
By Jessica Corbett
In an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, 42 Nobel laureates implored the federal government to "act with the moral clarity required" to tackle the global climate crisis and stop Teck Resources' proposed Frontier tar sands mine.
Concrete and asphalt absorb the sun's energy. So when a heat wave strikes, city neighborhoods with few trees and lots of black pavement can get hotter than other areas — a lot hotter.