TOKYO— Japan is sweltering through its hottest summer on record, weather officials said Thursday.
Meteorologists say 17 nations have recorded all-time-high temperatures this year, more than in any other year, and scientists have said that July was the hottest month on record for the world's oceans.
A heat wave in Russia unprecedented in 130 years of record-keeping triggered thousands of wildfires, while a surge in temperatures across much of Europe caused crops to wither and roads to melt. In the US, many cities in the northeast had record summer heat, while earlier this month 18 states issued heat advisories.
In the Middle East, temperatures hit a record high in Kuwait during June, while those in Saudi Arabia were several degrees above average. In China, Shanghai had its hottest August on record, while other provinces broke decades-old records, according to domestic media reports.
Soaring temperatures in Japan sent more than 46,000 people to the hospital this summer, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. Some 150 people died from heat stroke.