With scientists saying the goal of keeping global warming to within 1.5°C of pre-industrial levels was beyond reach, evidence of the crisis was everywhere.
A remote town in arid northwest China, Sanbao, It set a national record of 52.2 degrees Celsius (126 Fahrenheit).
Forest fires in Europe It broke ahead of a second heatwave in two weeks that was set to send temperatures reaching 48C.
And almost a quarter of the US population It fell under extreme heat warnings, in part because of the heat dome that has settled over the western states.
“In many parts of the world, the hottest day on record is expected,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, wrote on Twitter.
“#ClimateCrisis is not a warning. It is happening. I urge world leaders to act now.”
Before meeting his Chinese counterpart Xie Zhenhua in Beijing, US climate envoy John Kerry He urged China to partner with the United States to reduce methane emissions and coal-fired power.
Protracted high temperatures in China threaten power grids and crops and raise concerns about a repeat of last year’s drought, the most severe in 60 years.
Hurricane Telem It was gaining strength and was due to descend at night along China’s southern coast, forcing the cancellation of flights and trains in the Guangdong and Hainan regions.
in south korea, Heavy rains left 40 dead The river barriers collapsed, causing flash floods. They followed heavy rains recorded in the capital, Seoul, last year.
An anticyclone aka Charon — who in Greek mythology was the ferryman for the dead — could cause Europe to crack the highest recorded temperature of 48.8C, possibly on the Italian island of Sardinia, according to the Italian Air Force’s weather service.
High temperatures are particularly perilous for people like teenage sisters Mathilde and Angelica Aureli from Rome. During extreme heat it is not possible to venture outside until after 9pm. because of albinism. The genetic condition affects the protective pigment melanin in the hair, skin, and eyes.
“In the summer, it gets hotter year by year… It’s actually a very scary experience because for people with albinism, the sun gets worse,” Matilde said.
Ruben del Campo, a spokesman for the government’s meteorological agency, said temperatures in Spain could rise to 44°C in some areas and not fall below 25°C at night, raising the possibility of wildfires.
However, a forest fire on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands that forced the evacuation of 4,000 people has been brought under control as temperatures drop, local official Sergio Rodriguez said in an interview on TVE.
A heat dome across the western United States also helped generate heavy rains in the Northeast, killing at least five people. the Heat warnings It spread as far as Florida.
In Death Valley, California, tourists gathered in Furnace Creek on Sunday in anticipation of witnessing the highest recognized temperature on Earth: 134 Fahrenheit (56.7 Celsius) in 1913, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
They cheered as the 132F digital display reached 133 degrees as national park rangers stood by in case anyone succumbed to heatstroke.
“It’s my first time here, so I feel like it’s going to be really cool to be here for the most beautiful day on earth for the first time,” said Kayla Hill, 24, of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Carlo Bontempo, director of the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, said there was a clear pattern of heatwaves becoming more common as scientists predicted.
We are already in completely uncharted territory. “We’ve never seen anything like this in our living memory, in our history,” said Bontempo.
By Charlie Devereux
(Reporting by Charlie Devereux; Additional reporting by Emma Benedo in Madrid, Giselda Fagnoni in Rome, Emma Farge in Geneva, and Kate Abnett in Brussels; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)