5-speed listening (Heatwaves - Level 2)

UN says extreme heat is the new normal






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The United Nations has warned that extreme heat is "the new normal". Climate change is causing more heatwaves and making them longer and hotter. Many countries have had record hot weather in the past week. In parts of the USA and China, the mercury went over 50ºC. In Death Valley, California, it was 53.9ºC; and in Xinjiang, China, it got up to 52.2ºC. European countries and Japan have issued heat alerts. They asked people to stay in the shade and drink plenty of water. The UN warned the heatwaves could continue for another month.

The UN warned of the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It said heatwaves are happening more often and this is having, "a major impact on human health…and water supplies." It added that more work is needed, "to help society adapt to what is unfortunately becoming the new normal". The heat is making holidaymakers change their travel plans. People are choosing to holiday in cooler countries. A woman who tried to "escape the heat" by going to Rome complained that the Italian capital was hotter than her hometown in Texas.

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