"It's so hot, even parts of the Arctic are on fire," reports Vox, citing wildfires in Sweden, while Greece "has declared a state of emergency as raging forest fires have killed at least 81 people and injured more than 190." But Heat-related disasters are happening around the world. In Japan 86 people have been killed by heatstroke, while another 23,000 people have been hospitalized -- about half of them over the age of 65 -- in a heat wave forecast to continue for another two weeks. "Japan hit 106 degrees on Monday, its hottest temperature ever," reports the Associated Press, adding that "So far this month, at least 118 of these all-time heat records have been set or tied across the globe." An anonymous reader quotes their report. "We now have very strong evidence that global warming has already put a thumb on the scales, upping the odds of extremes like severe heat and heavy rainfall," Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh said. "We find that global warming has increased the odds of record-setting hot events over more than 80 percent of the planet, and has increased the odds of record-setting wet events at around half of the planet..." "The world is becoming warmer and so heat waves like this are becoming more common," said Friederike Otto, deputy director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford. "Death Valley, California, has set three consecutive daily record-high temperatures of 127 degrees," reports the Washington Post, adding that "Sometimes, like right now in the Western U.S., it's too hot for airplanes to fly" because of heat-related changes in air density at high-altitude airports. In Europe, nuclear power plants in Finland, Sweden, and German were forced to cut electricity production because high temperatures heated the seawater needed to cool reactors. In northern California 38,000 people fled their homes as an 80,900-acre wildfire spread through the Shasta-Trinity area. Reuters reports the wildfire was caused "by hot, dry weather and high winds" -- and that it's one of 89 large wildfires currently burning in 14 U.S. states.
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