Asia is experiencing a severe heat wave that has shattered temperature records and affected millions of people across the continent. Extreme heat has been linked to climate change and the El Nino weather pattern, which have increased the frequency and intensity of heat waves around the world.
According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the years 2023 to 2027 are likely to be the warmest on record, with a 66% chance that global temperatures will exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year.
Some of the countries that have suffered the most from the scorching heat are China, India, Pakistan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. June heat records, with some areas reaching over 40°C. In India, more than a dozen people died from heat stroke in Navi Mumbai at an outdoor ceremony. Thailand beat its national heat record over the weekend, with a temperature of 45.4°C recorded in Tak province. Neighboring Laos also set a new national heat record on Monday, with a temperature of 44.8°C recorded in Savannakhet province. Vietnam also recorded its highest-ever temperature of 44.1°C.
The heat wave has also increased the risk of wildfires, droughts, and water shortages in many parts of Asia. In Bangladesh, one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, floods, and cyclones have displaced millions of people and threatened food security.