The wettest summer in history?
Deadly floods in Germany and Belgium
Damage and victims in Germany
Was it the hottest summer ever?
Unexpected heat wave
Death Valley, an oven (literally)
Breaking records
The highest recorded temperature was from 1913
Some experts don't trust the 1913 data
54.4º is just outrageous
Canada really felt the heat in 2021
Hundreds died in the heat wave
Wildfires raged
Firefighters worked hard
A new normal in Canada?
Canada: prepare for a repeat of this summer
Climate change and floods
No single event can be directly linked to climate change
Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(1/19)
The wettest summer in history?

Record rainfall overwhelmed northern Europe in 2021. It caused at least 122 deaths in Germany and Belgium, as the BBC reported. The flooding was only one one aspect of an extreme summer with both heatwaves and water damage.

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(2/19)
Deadly floods in Germany and Belgium

The unexpectedly heavy rainfall "caused rivers to burst their banks," BBC stated. "The German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia were worst hit, but the Netherlands is also badly affected."

(Photo: Rhein-Erft-Kreis via @BezRegKoeln, Twitter)

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(3/19)
Damage and victims in Germany

The district government of Cologne tweeted the following, accompanied by shocking images of a flooded town: "In #Erftstadt-Blessem, houses have been massively washed out and some have collapsed. Several people are missing. Emergency calls are coming in from the houses, but rescue is often not possible. Our disaster relief team is on the scene."

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(4/19)
Was it the hottest summer ever?

Apart from its extreme rainfall, the summer's extreme heat broke all sorts of records. It saw temperatures that hadn't been seen in nearly a century.

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(5/19)
Unexpected heat wave

Many countries, such as Canada, faced a summer season with thermometers reaching temperatures that seemed like science fiction.

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(6/19)
Death Valley, an oven (literally)

In a place such as Death Valley, famous for its extreme temperatures, it was most obvious how high the temperatures got in the summer of 2021.

(Photo: De I, Luca Galuzzi)

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(7/19)
Breaking records

This national park, located in California, United States, registered the second-highest temperature in the planet's history since there are records: 54.4º C.

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(8/19)
The highest recorded temperature was from 1913

Previously, the warmest temperature on record occurred more than a century ago. On July 10, 1913,  the thermometers reached 56.7ºC in Death Valley.

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(9/19)
Some experts don't trust the 1913 data

However, with the methods of yesteryear, there are more than a few experts who doubt the veracity of the data due to the methods used.

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(10/19)
54.4º is just outrageous

Considering that the experts don't trust the data from 1913, 54.4º C (in 2021) could be the highest temperature in the history of planet Earth.

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(11/19)
"It is not a joke!"

Temperatures this high are to be taken seriously. Authorities warned people to be careful about exposing themselves to such extreme heat. The Las Vegas Meteorological Service, located just two hours from Death Valley in the neighboring state of Nevada, warned its tourists that “These temperatures are not a joke!"

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(12/19)
Canada really felt the heat in 2021

In Canada, the western provinces of the country took the brunt of the heat wave. The tiny town of Lytton, British Columbia broke records reaching 49,6ºC.

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(13/19)
Hundreds died in the heat wave

According to reports, 777 people died due to the extreme heat that hit British Columbia between June 25th and July 1st. This isn't surprising as Canadians are not accustomed to such high temperatures, and many homes do not have air conditioners.

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(14/19)
Wildfires raged

Unfortunately for the residents of Lytton, B.C, the high temperatures also brought wildfires that scorched their town. They consumed 90% of the village of 300 residents.

(Photo: CTVNews/Youtube)

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(15/19)
Firefighters worked hard

Following the extreme heat, firefighters attempted to ward off over 170 wildfires in the province of British Columbia.

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(16/19)
A new normal in Canada?

According to an article by Global News Canada, the Canadian government and citizens should prepare for more extreme heat in the future.

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(17/19)
Canada: prepare for a repeat of this summer

Global News Canada cited Prairie Climate Center director Ian Mauro from the University of Winnipeg, who said that similar extreme weather events could occur regularly every five to ten years due to global warming. It seems clear that Canadians need to prepare for the extreme to avoid the tragedies that the country experienced last summer.

(Photo: Twitter@ianmauro_PhD)

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(18/19)
Climate change and floods

In Germany, local officials pointed at climate change for an explanation of the extreme flooding. BBC cited the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia's premier Armin Laschet in saying that "We will be faced with such events over and over, and that means we need to speed up climate protection measures... because climate change isn't confined to one state."

Year in Review: 2021's extreme summer with record-high temperatures and water levels
(19/19)
No single event can be directly linked to climate change

The BBC also cited experts in saying that "climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, but linking any single event to global warming is complicated."

See also: the most impressive images of 2021

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