By Tanner Garrity / April 23, 2019

Vietnam Literally Just Had Its Hottest Day Ever

Triple digits and then some

Vietnam Literally Just Had Its Hottest Day Ever

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Vietnam reached an absolutely boiling 110°F this weekend, breaking the country’s all-time record, which was last set in May of 2015. The temperature was recorded in Ha Tinh — a coastline town that’s about a six hour’s drive south of Hanoi — although every region of country was either above or flirting with triple digits.

That this record was set in April is of particular concern. Vietnam’s an equatorial nation, and its hottest months are traditionally June through August, which means it’s almost certain that record will be broken again. It might not happen this summer, but it’s coming.

This is also an early sign that 2019 seems poised to follow in 2018’s scorched footsteps. It got really bad last year, in case you forgot. Texas had record highs (over 120°F); the Arctic Circle dealt with rampant wildfires; heatwaves killed dozens in Japan, and Africa recorded its all-time hottest temperature.

Unfortunately, this is the new normal. By the mid-21st century, heatwaves of this magnitude will become commonplace, and those without access to fridges, air-conditioning and clean water will either migrate northward (flooding cities and countries with climate refugees), or be left to fend themselves in incomprehensibly hot environs. We wish we had something positive to say about it, but the temperature of the planet is a little above journalistic spin. Support our scientists, people, they’re our best hope.

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