July was the hottest month ever recorded, with record-breaking heat waves across Europe, North America, and Asia. Over 6.5 billion people — 81% of the world’s population — faced extreme temperatures exacerbated by climate change. (These are the places on earth most at risk for record heat waves.)
24/7 Wall St. wanted to see how last summer’s hottest places fared this year. To do this, we compared high temperatures as of Aug. 21, 2023 to temperatures in the world’s 15 hottest places in July 2022, using weather station data from the weather information service ogimet.com (which sources information from multiple websites, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). For some places in Kuwait we used the country’s meteorological site.
The 15 hottest places in the world on Aug. 21 were in Iraq and Iran, with temperatures maxing out at 121.8°F. When compared to last July, cities in Iraq and Iran also had some of the highest temperatures on Earth, but Kuwait, which shares a common border with Iraq, stole the show with nine of the hottest cities on the list.
Kuwait is no stranger to extreme heat. On July 21, 2016, the nation reported one of the highest temperatures ever recorded, when the Mitribah weather station registered a reading of 129.2°F. Fueled by human-caused climate change, extreme temperatures are becoming more frequent around the globe and could have disastrous effects in the Middle East, where an increase in flash floods, sandstorms, and mudslides would displace communities and make certain regions uninhabitable.
Globally, these heat waves have fueled an increase in droughts, leading to a decrease in global crop yields as well as large scale livestock mortality. Extreme high temperatures have also contributed to uncontrollable wildfires that further release carbon into the atmosphere. (These are the places most likely to have wildfires.)
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