Once again, record-setting fires blazed around the globe as temperatures set new records amid drought conditions.
In Spain’s Canary Islands, tens of thousands were evacuated as fires spread out of control. Strong winds and drought conditions led to rapidly developed fires in Greece. At one point, 209 fires developed in a single 24-hour period.
Of course, the extreme scenes of fire this past week (and months) were matched by intense flooding in other parts of the planet. In Pakistan, around 100,000 people were evacuated from the Punjab province as a river overflowed its banks. Heavy rains, winds, and storms lashed Mecca, Saudi Arabia, with rare scenes reminiscent of apocalyptic movies.
A heat dome that settled over the US forced school cancellations and cooling centers to open. Head indexes across the Midwest reached into the 120-degree Fahrenheit ranges – and did so repeatedly. On Wednesday and Thursday, thousands went without air conditioning and electricity due to power outages in Wisconsin and Illinois.
The US was not alone. Southern Europe continued to bake under a heat wave. Most residents in this region do not have air conditioning thanks to a milder climate, but temperatures have climbed to the mid-90s (Fahrenheit) in places like France, Spain, and Italy.
Authorities warned of possible landslides in Haiti and the Dominican Republic as new tropical storm Franklin battered the islands.
The Panama Canal’s shipping lanes are stuck in a traffic jam due to drought conditions. Lower water levels through the canal have reduced passages significantly, and many global shipments are looking for new routes. Nearly 40% of US container traffic moves through the canal. The slowdown presents higher shipping costs to suppliers in a season when the world has just recovered from the recent supply crisis.