It’s so hot across the globe, roads and roofs are melting.
The deadly heat waves of the last week have sparked strange infrastructural events around the world as millions endure searing temperatures that are still on the rise.
The heat-related events also speak to aging infrastructures worldwide, most of which are not prepared for the sweltering conditions as of late.
Luton Airport, United Kingdom
It’s been so hot that a runway at London Luton Airport on the capital’s outskirts had to be closed off as it melted in the heat.
“Flights are temporarily suspended to allow for an essential runway repair after high surface temperatures caused a small section to lift,” the airport tweeted.
(VIDEO) Flights suspended at London's Luton airport as runway 'melts' during heat wave pic.twitter.com/Ls8c23e05F
— ANADOLU AGENCY (@anadoluagency) July 19, 2022
Heat causes materials to expand and crack when temperatures rise, according to the Pennsylvania State University College of Engineering, concrete and asphalt, found on runways and roads, are no exception.
In the city of Chongqing which has also been under a red alert, the heat led to the roof of the Forbidden City Cultural Relics Museum melting.
The heat dissolved the underlying tar, causing the traditional Chinese tiles to pop off.
In the city of Chongqing, which was also under red alert, the heat caused the roof of the Forbidden City Museum of Cultural Relics to melt. The heat dissolved the tar in the base, causing the traditional Chinese tiles to peel off.#China #heatwave pic.twitter.com/pdCY7nb8Ep
— RoINTEL (@RoINTEL) July 22, 2022
Hammersmith Bridge, United Kingdom
The Hammersmith Bridge in London can now be seen with silver foil around it because of the country’s heat wave.
The foil is actually part of a cooling system designed to reflect sunlight and keep the bridge at a moderate temperature so its materials don’t expand and crack.
london’s hammersmith bridge wrapped in foil to keep cracks from expanding in the extreme heat…
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) July 18, 2022
“Engineers are working round the clock to keep 135-year-old Hammersmith Bridge open during the extreme hot spell,” a news release from the Hammersmith and Fulham Council read.
The council hired world-class engineers to cover the bridge with a “£420,000 temperature control system to keep the bridge at a safe temperature and alleviate any stresses on the pedestals.”
Rail Road, United Kingdom
Railroads have also been scorched during this heat wave. So much so they’ve painted them white in London.
Did you know … ❓
We paint certain parts of the rail white so they absorb less heat and expand less, reducing delays in hot weather.
🛤️ Typically, a rail painted white is 5°C to 10°C cooler:
— Network Rail (@networkrail) July 15, 2022
“The rail temperature here is over 48 degrees Celsius so we’re painting the rails white to prevent them from getting hotter,” the UK’s Network Rail tweeted Monday. The agency regulates railway infrastructure in the UK.
By painting the rails white, they absorb less heat and expand less. This, in turn, reduces the delays during hot weather, the agency tweeted.
Fort Worth, United States
Scorching temperatures and a lack of rain have caused the ground in Fort Worth, Texas, to shift, according to the city’s website.
The result is “an unusually high number of water main breaks” this summer.
“Through 8 a.m. Monday, Fort Worth Water had 476 main breaks in 2022, with 221 of those in the past 90 days,” a news release from the city read. “The telling number is the 182 in the last 30 days over 38% of the yearly total.”