The United Nations weather agency has warned that extreme temperatures are "the new normal". Scientists say climate change is making heatwaves longer, hotter and more frequent. Many countries have been experiencing record hot weather in the past week. In parts of the USA and China, the mercury went over 50ºC (122ºF). In Death Valley, California, it was 53.9ºC; and in Xinjiang, China, it got up to 52.2ºC. In Spain and Italy, the temperature rose to 46ºC. Many European countries and Japan have issued heat alerts. They advised people to stay in the shade and drink plenty of water. The U.N. weather agency has warned Europe's heatwave could continue for another month.
A spokesperson for the United Nations warned of the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. He said: "Extreme weather is increasing in frequency in our warming climate. It is having a major impact on human health…and water supplies." He added: "We have to step up efforts to help society adapt to what is unfortunately becoming the new normal." The European Travel Commission said the extreme heat is making holidaymakers change their travel plans. People who used to holiday in Spain, Italy and Greece are choosing to go to cooler countries instead. A woman who wanted to "escape the heat" by going to Rome complained that the Italian capital was hotter than her hometown in Texas.