The villains behind the heat wave

The fossil fuel industry knew all along what climate change would do to people

Gas on America's flames.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

Last week, I noted that on June 27, Canada smashed its all-time heat record with a temperature of 116 degrees Fahrenheit, besting the previous record by three whole degrees. It turns out that was just the start: The same small town of Lytton that broke the national record broke it again the next day by hitting 118 degrees, and a third time the following day with a temperature of 121.3 degrees — or more than eight degrees higher than any previous recorded temperature in Canadian history.

"This is the most anomalous regional extreme heat event to occur anywhere on Earth since temperature records began. Nothing can compare," weather historian Christopher Burt told Yale Climate Connections. The heat roasted the forests surrounding Lytton, accelerating wildfires that produced their own "pyroculmulus" storms, creating more lightning and even more blazes. The day after setting the record, fire ripped through Lytton and burned it to the ground just 15 minutes after the first appearance of smoke.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us