A worker handles a block of ice at a wet market during a heat wave in Bangkok on April 27, 2023.

Andre Malerba | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Several cities in Southeast Asia experienced sweltering temperatures over the weekend, with some areas hitting new all-time records as global climate change intensifies both heat waves and air pollution in the region.

The temperature in Tuong Duong, a city in Vietnam, reached a record high of 111.6 degrees Fahrenheit (44.2 degrees Celsius) on Sunday, according to Vietnam’s National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting. Luang Prabang, a city in Laos, saw a record high temperature of 110.3 degrees Fahrenheit (43.5 degrees Celsius) on Saturday, according to the Thai Meteorological Department.

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, also experienced a record high temperature of 105.8 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius) over the weekend.

Singapore hit 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius) on Saturday, matching its all-time record, set 40 years ago, the National Environment Agency said.

Southeast Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change, which has fueled more frequent and severe heat waves and worsened the region’s air pollution. The combination of extreme heat and high smog levels in the region has exacerbated the risk of heat-related illnesses as well as respiratory and cardiovascular problems.

The scorching temperatures this year can be linked to a combination of issues, including lower rainfall this past winter and El Niño, a weather pattern which usually brings warmer and drier conditions to the region.

The hottest months in Southeast Asia are usually from March to May during the dry season, when temperatures often reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). The region’s dry season usually ends with the onset of the monsoon season, bringing cooler temperatures and rainfall.

However, a 2022 study from the journal “Communications Earth & Environment” warns that dangerous levels of heat are expected to occur between three and ten times more often by the end of the century.

Tropical regions, including much of Asia, could face twice as many days of “extremely dangerous heat” of 124 degrees Fahrenheit (51 degrees Celsius), according to the study. Asia facing dangers including floods, droughts and typhoons in addition to rising heat and humidity.

Globally, 2022 ranked as one of the hottest years on record as ocean heat increased and Antarctic sea ice melted to near-record lows, according to Data from US authorities.

Residents rest in front of a fan in Bangkok on April 25, 2023.

Andre Malerba | Bloomberg | Getty Images