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July was so hot that a Canadian town broke a 140-year-old heat record

People sunbathe during warm weather on the spectators' ranks at a swimming pool area in Prague, Czech Republic, 31 July 2018.
EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK
Its too hot to think of a caption
  • Amanda Shendruk
By Amanda Shendruk

Visual journalist

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

On July 1, a small community outside of Toronto broke a daily weather record almost as old as Canada itself. At 33.9 Celsius (93 Fahrenheit), the temperature in the town of Kincardine topped its previous record high of 33.3 Celsius, established in 1867.

That was just one of the many heat records broken across the Northern hemisphere this July. At least six daily highs established before the 20th century were broken in the United States, and California’s Death Valley struggled through the hottest month, globally, ever measured. In many places, the heat has been deadly.

This year, Finland, Japan, and a number of counties in China experienced their hottest July on record. Temperatures tipped above 30C (86F) in the Arctic Circle, and record highs were knocked down in Finland, Norway, Amsterdam, UK, Ireland, and France. Spain and Portugal are now preparing to potentially break Europe’s heat record.

Climate scientists have linked these occasional extremes to a larger trend of global warming. Nevertheless, some say they were still surprised at the number of heat records being broken.”While I expect that high temperatures records will continue to be broken at abnormally high rates because of global warming, I would not have guess that so many would be broken in the same year,” researcher Michael Wehner told Axios.

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