A hot spell in Southeast Asia has broken all-time heat records. It comes on the heels of a record-breaking heat wave in Southern Europe and North Africa that scientists say was “almost impossible” without climate change.
Temperatures in parts of Laos breached 110 degrees F (44.1 degrees C) Saturday, while Vietnam saw the mercury surpass 111 degrees F (43.5 degrees C), an all-time high for both countries. In April, temperatures in Thailand reached 114 degrees F (45.4 degrees C), a new record high.
Also in April, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Algeria saw severe heat more typical of late summer. In Portugal and Spain, temperatures reached 98 degrees F (36.9 degrees C) and 102 degrees F (38.8 degrees C), respectively, breaking their April records by a wide margin.
A rapid analysis from World Weather Attribution finds that climate change made the extreme spring heat in Europe and North Africa at least 100 times more likely. Temperatures were up to 6 degrees F (3.5 degrees C) higher than they would have been without climate change.
“While Europe and North Africa have experienced heat waves increasingly frequently over the last years, the recent heat in the Western Mediterranean has been so extreme that it is also a rare event in today’s warmer climate,” authors wrote. “The fact that extreme heat is increasing faster than climate models simulate is a known problem in summer in Western Europe, in all climate models, and is also found here.”