Is this thing on?

It turns out that global warming means actual global warming, as in we’re in the frying pan and the burner is on. It means we’re accidentally cooking ourselves along with everything else.

Punishing heat waves gripped three continents on Tuesday, breaking records in cities around the Northern Hemisphere less than two weeks after the Earth recorded what scientists said were likely its hottest days in modern history.

Not just a little upward bump in average temperatures but raging heat waves that kill people by the thousands.

Firefighters in Greece scrambled to put out wildfires, as parched conditions raised the risk of more blazes throughout Europe. Beijing logged another day of 95-degree heat, and people in Hangzhou, another Chinese city, compared the choking conditions to a sauna. From the Middle East to the American Southwest, delivery drivers, airport workers and construction crews labored under blistering skies. Those who could stay indoors did.

For hundreds of millions of people on Tuesday, the heat was hard to escape. In the United States, Phoenix broke a nearly half-century-old record on Tuesday, with the city’s 19th consecutive day of temperatures above 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 Celsius).

Remember, kids: not everyone can just turn on the air conditioning. Also, turning on the air conditioning contributes to the warming.

Several firefighters around a man in distress.
Firefighters helping a man at his home in Phoenix, where he collapsed after working on his roof on Saturday.Credit…Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

Wildfires raged on for yet another week in Canada, having burned a staggering 25 million acres so far this year, an area roughly the size of Kentucky. With more than a month of peak fire season to go, 2023 has already eclipsed Canada’s annual record, from 1989.

Fires also forced evacuations in villages south, west and north of Athens, burning an estimated 7,400 acres of forest in Greece despite aerial water bombardments to bring the blazes under control.

All those forests gone up in smoke can no longer absorb carbon dioxide.

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