How People (and Animals) Are Beating the Heat Wave

Too hot? Want to go to Alaska? Bad idea. This is the hottest period the planet has seen in 2,000 years — and it's almost the same everywhere.

The heat is widespread

In Alaska, 400 wildfires so far this year, with new ones igniting every day. Why? One of the reasons is temperatures. Alaska had its second-warmest June on record. Temperatures in Alaska hit record highs of 32° Celsius. A massive, potentially deadly heat wave has settled in over the world in Summer 2019. Temperatures in some cities have topped 105 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking records. It may get worse, with the heat rising to 110 degrees in some locations according to Accuweather.

The heat is widespread: There’s nowhere to beat the heat from Portugal to Oregon. In Spain, it’s exacerbating a dangerous 10,000-acre wildfire. Elsewhere across the continent, officials have declared heat warnings, canceled events, and set up cooling stations for people to cool down. During any summer, such heat waves are possible. But in a warming world, more are expected. People are finding temporary relief by bathing in public fountains, eating frozen foods, and trying to make the best of the oppressive weather conditions. Photojournalists have been documenting what the heat wave has looked like across the continent. And their content show how joy and hardship can coexist in a sweltering world.

As temperatures rose from the East Coast to the West Coast, zoos have had to get creative in keeping their animals safe under the extreme conditions. Elephant showers, wolf pool parties and frozen watermelons have been just a few of the idea’s zookeepers came up with. The Brookfield Zoo is combating this recent heat wave by providing chilly treats to their animals. The zoo’s animal care staff offered blocks of ice with fruits and vegetables, as well as a few filled with meat and bones to different species in residence. The Maryland Zoo is also using ice treats to combat the heat wave.

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