The month of July, 2019 was the hottest month on record (for more on temperature records, climate change).
While heat waves registering into the three digits Fahrenheit have become the norm in many parts of the world, they are now beginning to be seen where they haven’t before.
Meteorologists and climate scientists noted record-breaking heat throughout Europe. They also noted that this heatwave has been moving north into the Arctic where it threatens to further melt polar ice caps and produce sea rise (click to find more information). Those living in the northern hemisphere have been taken completely by surprise. Homes, businesses and government buildings are not equipped with air conditioning, so they have been struggling to cope with the high temperatures. But because of predictions for future intense heat waves, many are now investing in HVAC technology. Small window air conditioning units are becoming a regular feature of apartments and office spaces. Mobile air conditioners that can be moved from room to room are also being used to cool small spaces where there is no central air conditioning. New construction of homes and businesses will feature central air conditioning or will have the capacity for air conditioning installation. In the interim, residents are seeking relief from the heat by staying close to water where temperatures are more moderate. Where this is not an option, many are staying in hostels or hotels where central air conditioning is prevalent. Government officials have given workers furloughs until the heat wave passes. Looking ahead, however, they are making plans for better indoor temperature control given the predictions for future heat waves.