The Fourth of July was the hottest day on Earth since at least 1979, according to the Washington Post.
The temperature Tuesday was a huge jump in global averages and records and 0.31 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than Monday, according to The Associated Press. The University of Maine’s climate calculator predicted that Wednesday will be similar.
Some scientists believe Tuesday was the hottest day on Earth in about 125,000 years. According to the Post, it is due to climate change that is causing global temperatures to skyrocket and the return of the El Niño pattern this summer in the northern hemisphere.
The global record for heat is an indication that climate change is reaching “uncharted territory,” according to the AP.
“The increasing heating of our planet caused by fossil fuel use is not unexpected, it was predicted already in the 19th century after all,” said climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research in Germany, the AP reported. “But it is dangerous for us humans and for the ecosystems we depend on. We need to stop it fast.”
In the United States alone, over 57 million people were exposed to dangerous heat on Tuesday, the Post reported.
“Those hotter temperatures that happen when we get hotter than normal conditions? People aren’t used to that. Their bodies aren’t used to that,” Erinanne Saffell, the Arizona state climatologist and an expert in extreme weather and climate events, told the AP.
6 tips for staying cool in extreme heat from the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
- Make sure you, your loved ones and your pets are drinking a lot of water.
- Find air conditioning whether it is at home, the mall, a public library or at cooling centers.
- Insulate your house by covering windows, and put up aluminum foil-covered cardboard so heat reflects back outside instead of inside.
- Wear sunscreen when you go outside. Also, have a hat and sunglasses.
- Never leave any person to pet inside a closed car during the heat.
- Avoid any rigorous or strenuous activities. Basically, take it easy during the heat.