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AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye
People pack a pool in Tokyo, Japan during a deadly heatwave in August, 2013.
SWIMMING FOR YOUR LIFE

Photos: People around the world flood pools to escape epic heatwaves

By Kate Groetzinger

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. 

REUTERS/Stringer CHINA OUT
Tourists crowd a swimming pool at a tourist resort in the Sichuan province of China during a heat wave in July, 2015.
REUTERS/Sean Yong
People swim in an indoor pool in the Jiangsu province of China during a heat wave in July, 2009.
AP Photo/Sandor H. Szabo
Bathers crowd a swimming pool during a heat wave in Hajduszoboszlo, Hungary in June, 2000.
AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon
People crowd a swimming pool as they try to escape a heat wave in South Korea in August, 2012.
EPA/Uli Deck
Visitors crowd a pool in Karlsruhe, Germany as temperatures creep up on record highs in July, 2014.
People flock to the pool in Budapest, Hungary during a heat wave in August, 2011.
REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas
Indonesians crowd a swimming pool in Pasuruan, East Java in September, 2009.