Hotter and hotter: Inside the 24 June Guardian Weekly

Why global heatwaves are getting worse. Plus: remembering Dom Phillips.
2022-06-22 08:00

For some, a blazing sun is a welcome sign of summer; for millions, it is an existential threat.

In Delhi, temperatures have reached 42C or higher on 25 separate days since summer began. Spain had its hottest May in 58 years, reaching 43C. And in Phoenix, US, the temperature didn’t drop below 27C for two weeks.

Around the world, climate change is making heatwaves hotter and last for longer – and not just in places where you’d traditionally expect high temperatures. In early March, Vostok research station in Antarctica recorded a reading 15C higher than its previous all-time record.

Heatwaves are happening as Earth has warmed by about 1.2C above pre-industrial levels – nations agreed, at the Cop26 UN climate summit last year, to try not to let temperatures rise by more than 1.5C. At 2C, an estimated 1 billion people will suffer extreme heat. For our big story this week, the Guardian and Observer’s environment team report on climate trends that are beginning to verge on the calamitous.

The dreadful news was confirmed last week of the deaths in Brazil of the Guardian contributor Dom Phillips and Indigenous defender Bruno Pereira. Our global environment editor Jonathan Watts has written a deeply moving piece about his friend Dom, while Tom Phillips and Dan Collyns report from the remote Amazonian border regions where police are losing the war against organised crime.

Don’t miss two important long-read features this week. First, Rachel Cooke visits Malta, the last country in Europe where it’s still illegal for a woman to have an abortion. Then, we have a rare interview with Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, who speaks candidly to Shaun Walker about the toll of war on her country and her family.

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