This year is on pace to become the hottest since record-keeping began more than a century ago. Cruel summer weather caused massive droughts in Thailand and Israel, and killed hundreds in India. Russia's worst heat wave in 130 years sparked deadly wildfires and left thousands dead across the country. Some scientists have called the mercury-busting highs the "best evidence yet" for global warming. Are they right? Here is a look at some of the record-breaking temperatures from across the globe:
1. An all-time record high in Los Angeles
97 degrees is nothing compared to September 28. That day, downtown L.A. registered at 113 degrees, besting the old mark of 112 set in 1990.
2. Houston's hottest month ever
While Houston's residents are used to hot days, they've never seen heat like this, with an average temperature of 87.8 degrees in August, a new record for the hottest month in the city's history.
3. A new all-time high in Asia
Temperatures in Pakistan's ancient city of Mohenjo-daro reached a scorching 129 degrees on June 1, marking the hottest weather ever recorded in Asia, and the fourth-highest temperature in history.
4. An unprecedented heat wave in Russia
With smoke from burning peat-bogs clogging the muggy air, the heat in Moscow on August 6 broke the "psychological barrier" of 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Record heat in Sudan
While searing weather is common in Sudan, the 121-degree temperature recorded on June 25 in the city of Dongola was the hottest the country has ever seen. The previous record was set in 1987.
6. New all-time highs in the Middle East
U.S. troops in Iraq endured some of the most intense heat of the summer. The mercury hit a blistering 125.6 degrees Fahrenheit in July, the highest temperature ever recorded in the country.
7. The hottest month in world history — four times in a row
June 2010 was the warmest month ever recorded on planet Earth. The previous mark had been set in May. The mark before that had been set in April. The one before that in March. Sense a trend?
This article was originally published on August 9, and republished, with additions, on September 28
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What is driving the increasingly weird behavior of the polar jet stream?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Christians have no moral rationale for spanking their children
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Should you hope to die at 75? Absolutely not.
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Stop hating on cyclists
- Why America should team up with Bashar al-Assad's regime
Subscribe to the Week