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A farmer drives a tractor as he uses a hose to put out a fire burning in his paddock and near homes on the outskirts of the town of Bilpin on Dec. 19, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. David Gray / Getty Images

Two firefighters died Thursday battling wildfires fueled by a record-breaking heat wave in Australia, prompting Prime Minister Scott Morrison to return home from a Hawaiian vacation he had been much criticized for taking.

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A landscape northwest of Sydney on Dec. 18, 2019, burned by recent Australian bushfires. SAEED KHAN / AFP via Getty Images

Tuesday was Australia's hottest day on record, according to preliminary results from the country's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). The country recorded an average maximum temperature of 40.9 degrees Celsius, beating the previous average of 40.3 degrees recorded on Jan. 7, 2013.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Flood, earthquake, fire, tornado and weather disaster damage portrayed in illustration. Ryan Etter / Ikon Images / Getty Images

The salient reality of the climate crisis is undeniable to many Americans. We have seen record heat waves from Alaska to Mississippi, record flooding, beaches closed due to algal blooms, increased storm intensity and devastating wildfires in 2019. Now, most Americans say the climate crisis is bearing down on them, and the government needs to do more to stop it, according to a new survey from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center in Washington, DC.

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September 2019 was the hottest on record, according to EU data. David Trood / DigitalVision / Getty Images

September 2019 was the hottest September on record, the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service reported Friday. This makes it the fourth month in a row this year to be the hottest or near hottest of its kind.

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AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

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A collapsed block of permafrost in Drew Point, Alaska. U.S. Geological Survey

By Jeff Turrentine

Chris McKee lived down the street from me when we were kids growing up in suburban Dallas. Even though we haven't seen each other face-to-face in many years, Chris and I have managed to stay in touch through the mixed blessing of social media.

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Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef. The Ocean Agency / Xl Catlin Seaview Survey

Marine heat waves are increasing in frequency, duration and intensity, which spell trouble for corals, according to new research from scientists working at the Great Barrier Reef.

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Pexels

Heat waves have had people sweltering all summer, but they are not just on land. It turns out that ocean heat waves, which can threaten corals, fish, plankton and other marine life, are occurring far more frequently than previously thought, according to a study published Wednesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, as Gizmodo reported.

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People walk in the street during a hot day in Tokyo's district of Ueno on August 7. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP / Getty Images

While the worst of this summer's heat seems to have passed in the U.S. and Europe, Japan is in the throes of a dangerous heat wave.

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The street thermometer in front of the EU Commission headquarters shows a temperature of 46° Celsius (114° F), on July 25 in Brussels, as a new heatwave hits the Belgium capital. Thierry Monasse / Getty Images

The latest heat wave that crippled Paris with 109 degree Fahrenheit heat and saw the mercury hit 104 degrees Fahrenheit in the Netherlands and Belgium was caused by humans, according to a new study published on Friday, as the Associated Press reported.

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A woman walks along a street as Tokyo suffers through a heatwave on Aug. 1. Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP

By Brian Mastroianni

This has been a summer of scorching, record-breaking heat waves in the U.S. and around the world.

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