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.
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.
The temperatures, afflicting so much of the world all at once, were a withering reminder that climate change is a global crisis, driven by human-made forces: the emissions of heat-trapping gases, mainly caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
The planet has warmed about 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century and will continue to grow hotter until humans essentially stop burning coal, oil and gas, scientists say. The warmer temperatures contribute to extreme weather events and help make periods of extreme heat more frequent, longer and more intense.
Also affecting this year’s conditions is the return of El Niño, a cyclical weather pattern that, depending on the sea surface temperature and the pressure of the air above it, can originate in the Pacific and have wide-ranging effects on weather around the world.
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). Elsewhere around the country, hot and humid conditions were expected to worsen along the Gulf Coast and throughout the Southeast.
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.
节选自《纽约时报》：Heat Waves Grip 3 Continents as Climate Change Warms Earth
1. grip 表示（情绪或形势）对…产生强烈影响
例：Terrorism has gripped the country for the past two years.
2. scramble 艰难地（或仓促地）完成，常用搭配为scramble to do sth.
例：They were scrambling to give the impression that the situation was under control. 他们急于给人一种形势已得到控制的印象。
3. wide-ranging 范围大的，广泛的
例：a wide-ranging discussion 内容广泛的讨论
4. rage (on) 表示（暴风雨、战斗、争论等）猛烈地继续；激烈进行。
例：The battle raged on(= continued). 战斗仍在激烈进行。
5. bombardment 表示轰炸，轰击。常用搭配为aerial/artillery/naval bombardment（空中/炮火/海上轰炸）
例：The bombardment continued for a terrible nine hours.