Seven western European nations from Spain to Russia have been placed under severe heat warnings this week, with temperatures expected to reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, straining health facilities and power supplies.
With temperatures noted to be up to eight degrees Celsius higher than normal across the continent, the World Meteorological Organization has issued extremely hot weather warnings for most of Spain and Belgium as well as the western half of Germany and parts of the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean, the United States East Coast is under the grip of a heat wave that has already claimed two lives and caused fires and power outages. Officials in locales such as New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have called on residents to conserve energy, stay hydrated, and check on vulnerable elderly neighbors and animal companions.
On the western coast of the United States, Washington and Oregon have also faced record-high temperatures recently, and even Canada to the north has reported near-record highs, with some municipalities in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec enveloped in unhealthy smog.
In Asia, wildfires have ignited in central Mongolia due to the prolonged heat and dry weather, claiming three lives and injured six others as of Tuesday, July 6.
Meanwhile, the Aulacese (Vietnamese) National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Center has reported temperatures reaching 48 degrees Celsius and the sparking of forest fires in northern and central regions with more of the same forecast for the near future.
In Formosa (Taiwan), this year's highest-ever temperatures have crowded hospitals and clinics with patients exhibiting heat-induced sicknesses and symptoms, with the number of stroke patients rising by up to 30%.
It saddens us to know of the lives lost to the extreme heat and we pray for the protection and resiliency of all those affected.
Our prayers that the equilibrium of our ecosphere may be restored as humanity strives to be more conscientious stewards on Earth. During a June 2009 climate change conference in Veracruz, Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke with concern once again for the dangerous conditions of global warming, while advising of the best action to halt climate change.