When temperatures shoot up, standards for personal space drop, as people rush to claim their spots in the pool. This summer, expect stiff competition at your local watering hole: a heatwave in Western Europe is threatening to break records, and on July 12, China’s National Meteorological Center issued the country’s first heat alert of the year. India and Pakistan too suffered devastatingly high temperatures in June—monsoon rains have only begun to bring relief.
Climate experts show that summer temperatures have risen at unprecedented rates over the past ten years, and many blame global warming. Hold on to your floaties, because they may be right. Shot over the same period, these photos capture crowds around the world competing to cool off.