As the U.S. is experiencing a polar vortex, across the world, the weather is being reported as equally extreme. Not only is the U.S. recording temperatures that put them in line with the Arctic, but the U.K. is also currently covered in snow. Across the other side of the world, in the Southern hemisphere, the weather is so hot that Australia just recorded its hottest January on record and reports of feral horses dying in the Northern Territory is showing just how extreme the weather is at the moment across the world.
As CNN points out, it is only one month into 2019 and already meteorologists are commenting on the extreme weather. Many towns and cities across the world are also coming to a standstill as the extreme weather conditions not only freeze people out but burn places to the ground.
In the U.S. 200 million people experienced a polar vortex that saw temperatures plummeting to -26 Fahrenheit (-32 degrees Celsius). During this time, 17 fatalities due to the extreme cold have been recorded. At least 2,300 flights were also canceled during this time period. In Michigan, a single hospital has recorded 50 cases of frostbite in the recent cold snap.
Across the pond, in the U.K., record lows in temperatures are also being reported as the cold weather continues in the Northern hemisphere. Residents in Braemar in northeast Scotland recorded the coldest temperature on record in the U.K. since 2012 with 6.1 Fahrenheit (-14.4 Celsius)
Meanwhile, in Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology has declared January as the hottest on record. In fact, it has been so hot that there have been reported cases of roads actually melting in the heat, according to CNN. But, more concerning, in a country that saw the devastating Black Saturday fires claim the highest fatalities caused by bushfires in Australian history, this heatwave is now being called “unprecedented.” Drought has already been declared in parts of the country and it is expected that the country has not yet seen the worst of the hot weather.
MARYSVILLE PICTURE SPECIAL— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) February 1, 2019
It's almost 10 years to the day since the Black Saturday bushfires devastated Marysville.
Here's how the Yarra Valley village looks a decade on: https://t.co/EUaiwL00N5 pic.twitter.com/tc5J0jG5lv
In the Northern Territory, CNN reports of disturbing images of the carcasses of wild horses surrounding a dry waterhole. Situated approximately 12 miles from the remote Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa) community in the Northern Territory, the discovery was made at the 330-foot waterhole called Deep Hole recently.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Ralph Turner, who made the discovery.
“I’d never seen anything like it. I didn’t stop to count but there were lots and lots of them. It was devastating. I just can’t stop thinking of how they died, desperate for water in this heat wave. The horses used to be good and strong a couple of years ago.”
At the other end of Australia, in the state that is usually considered the coolest, temperature-wise, Tasmania has also been experiencing their own heatwave which has resulted in an outbreak in bushfires.
Across the country, health warnings have been issued as people try to cope with the extreme heat.
And, once again, scientists are warning that these extremes in weather will continue unless something is done to address climate change.
“Climate change is making heat waves more likely but any individual event is effectively a weather phenomenon,” Ben Webber, a lecturer in climate science in the Climatic Research Unit at the UK’s University of East Anglia, told CNN.
“We can try and mitigate against the worst effects of climate change by reducing carbon emissions, that’s really the best thing to do — but obviously that requires global action. So individuals can help, but it has to be a big global action to be effective,”