Summer is only beginning, but many parts of the world already have some brutal heat.

In the last fortnight, many parts of the United States, Europe and China have been hit by extreme heat waves that are threatening human life, increasing the risk of wildfire, and testing the limits of the power grid.

Roads caved in in Minnesota with temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit earlier in the week and smashed car windows.

Thousands of livestock have died in Kansas.

“Heat wave” is more or less a technical term for temperatures that stay much hotter than the local average for at least two days, according to the National Weather Service.

What is most alarming, according to climate professionals, is that these events occur earlier in the year at a time when people, cities and the infrastructure on which they rely may not be prepared for extreme heat.

Andrew Freedman Home

The Andrew Freedman Home is a historic building constructed for Andrew Freedman that has been renovated into an artists’ hub consisting of an interdisciplinary artist residency, an incubator space, (wikipedia)

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service is an agency of the United States federal government that is tasked with providing weather forecasts, warnings of hazardous weather, (wikipedia)

READ MORE:  Interview: US envoy John Kerry says climate talks are likely to fall short of UN target to curb global warming