Home Editor's Pick Heatwaves, wildfires, air chaos and overcrowding. How this year’s summer vacations fell apart

Heatwaves, wildfires, air chaos and overcrowding. How this year’s summer vacations fell apart


As temperatures rose and summer arrived around the world, vacationers prepared to take to the seas, skies, and roads for their long awaited summer getaways.

Unfortunately, as the unwelcome consequences of climate change struck with brutal force this summer, long hoped for summer adventures have been put in jeopardy. In Europe, heatwaves have triggered air chaos as extreme temperatures caused jets to be grounded for the safety of passengers and crew. Across the United States, wildfires have engulfed many states, closing highways and forcing vacationers to abandon plans or endure thick smoke and haze. In Asia, while flights remained operational, overcrowding in popular vacation spots and along heavily traveled highway routes brought a host of other problems for those on mother-of-all-road-trips.

The situation is particularly worse in some of the world’s poorer countries, where the vast majority of citizens are unable to flee from their scorched homelands and vacation elsewhere. In India, for instance, temperatures reached as high as 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in some cities, while in Pakistan a water crisis has been impacting daily life in major cities such as Lahore and Karachi.

For those who had been able to take summer vacations, it’s been a gut-wrenching reminder of the impact of climate change and the unhealthy state of the environment. The scenes of human-made disasters such as overcrowded beaches, parched landscapes, and choked highways are stark reminders of the need to reduce our consumption and emissions to limit the impact of climate change on future vacations and generations.

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