Much of the world is baking under a particularly oppressive heat wave at the moment, and Arizona seems to have been transformed into some sort of Mad Max-like wasteland for the time being. There’s a grimly fascinating list over on Gizmodo that highlights some of the stranger phenomena associated with this grilling, but a couple of them stand out for being particularly terrifying.
The first notes that the ground temperature in plenty of parts of the state is so high that things that touch it are melting – including human skin and dog paws.
On certain roads and pavements, it’s already hot enough to cause first- and second-degree burns, and there are reports of it being warm enough to fry an egg. Over the last couple of days, the tarmac is poking around at temperatures of over 71°C (160°F), enough to cook ground beef and destroy human skin instantly.
If your cat or dog – or child – is walking outside barefoot, they will be in an instantaneous world of pain.
Experts have even warned that steering wheels and car seats left in the Sun are getting hot enough to induce third-degree burns.
The second horror-inducing feature of the current heat wave comes courtesy of the United States border patrol. Releasing a statement in relation to migrants traversing Arizona’s Sonoran Desert border, they explain that “it is physically impossible for the average person to carry enough water to survive several days of walking through the desert.”
This heat wave will likely claim lives, and the elderly, young, and sick are advised to stay indoors and keep as hydrated as possible. Crossing the desert at times like this, however, is nothing short of a suicidal act.
Although it’s too soon to say, it’s more likely than not that the extreme nature of this heat wave is at least partly linked to man-made climate change. Spring is arriving earlier, summers are getting hotter, and droughts are becoming more common.
As a new study revealed earlier this week, if things continue the way they are and no significant action on cutting greenhouse gases takes place, 8.3 billion people by 2100 will experience three weeks of deadly heat waves. This includes America of course, and Arizona in this regard will be one of the worse-affected states.
In sum, expect melted puppy paws to become more commonplace as time marches inexorably onwards.