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The heat is on: Soaring temperatures a cause for global concern

Miami broke a daily record Saturday, and Phoenix could see 122 this week as a historic heat wave continues across the globe.
The heat is on: Soaring temperatures a cause for global concern
Posted at 10:45 AM, Jul 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-10 12:46:14-04

A historic heat wave is continuing to stretch across much of the United States — especially in the South — putting millions of Americans at risk.

The planet set three records last week for highest average global temperatures, topping out at 63.01 degrees Fahrenheit. The average during the 1900s was just 57 degrees.

Miami set a new daily record Saturday with temperatures soaring to 96 degrees. The typical bustling streets of Brickell were left unusually empty as people looked to avoid the sweltering heat.

SEE MORE: How can you protect yourself and kids from the extreme heat?

The Southwestern U.S. is also bracing for a potential record-setting heat wave. Excessive heat warnings have been extended in Phoenix as the city has hit at least 110 degrees for nine straight days. By Thursday, the city could break its all-time record of 122 degrees as a heat dome builds over the region.

Temperatures are also soaring in the Midwest, where outdoor workers are struggling to stay cool.

"We start early in the morning and try to beat the heat. We try to be done out of the fields by noon at the latest," said Way Farms owner Cameron Way. "Some days we can. Some days we can't."

However, it's not just hot in the U.S. Heat waves have also stretched across much of Asia and Africa. Ocean sea surface temperatures are hitting record levels as well. NOAA's experimental marine heatwave forecast system found that "half of the global ocean may experience marine heatwave conditions by the end of summer."

SEE MORE: Hot summer 2023: All about the excessive heat and poor air quality

Conservationists are urging leaders to protect forests by planting more trees to help absorb the carbon in the atmosphere from fossil fuels. 

"We cannot give up. We don't have any choice but to adapt," said Monica Medina, president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society. "We've always understood that change happens, but so does progress, and that's why we need to keep going with our energy transition and wean ourselves off fossil fuels."

Those trees may help in the future, but they won't be able to stop the potential record-setting heat the planet will sweat through this week.


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