Argentina faces a historic heatwave with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius (104°F), straining power grids, and forcing residents to seek shelter in the shade.

Iran PressAmerica: With temperatures up around 45°C (113°F) in parts of the South American nation, hundreds of thousands of people were left without electricity when power grids failed in and around the populous capital city Buenos Aires. 

Since the weekend, the heat has been building and is projected to peak from Thursday to Saturday. In this stretch, temperatures may approach the highest mark ever recorded on the continent - a staggering 120 degrees Fahrenheit, registered in Rivadavia, Argentina, on Dec. 11, 1905. 

Heatwaves are among the deadliest weather phenomena, surpassing tornadoes, flooding, and hurricanes in their human toll in many areas. Quantifying their exact human impact is difficult because of the issue of “excess mortality,” which occurs when the elderly, those with preexisting health conditions, and other vulnerable populations die prematurely because of the heat. 

While the heat in Argentina looks likely to subside by this weekend, it’s the latest episode to fit into an alarming pattern illustrating the effects of human-induced climate change. 

The heatwave could eventually affect agriculture, too; Argentina is among the world’s top exporters of soybean and corn. 


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