Health warnings as Death Valley scorches in 54.4C heat

Severity of hot spell in western US underlines dangerous impact of human-caused climate disruption

Excessive heat warnings remained in place across swathes of the western US on Monday after Death Valley in registered what could prove to be the highest reliably recorded temperature on Earth.

After a cascade of record heatwaves in Canada, north-west US, northern Europe and Siberia, the severity of the hot spell has underlined the dangerous impact of human-caused climate disruption and prompted scientists to consider whether computer models may have underestimated the impacts.

Related: In California’s interior, there’s no escape from the desperate heat: ‘Why are we even here?’

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