Paris hits new heat record, London boils in Europe heat wave
Record temperatures are being set across Europe, including Paris, as the continent swelters Thursday in what is its second heat wave this summer.
Climate scientists warn this could become the new normal in many parts of the world. But temperate Europe — where air conditioning is rare — isn’t equipped for the temperatures frying the region this week.
On Thursday afternoon the Paris area hit 42.4 degrees Celsius (108.3 degrees Fahrenheit), beating the previous record of 40.4 C (104.8 F) set in 1947. Authorities said the temperature was still rising, as a result of hot, dry air coming from northern Africa that’s trapped between cold stormy systems.
The Netherlands’ meteorological institute said 40.4 C (104.72 F) was recorded Thursday in the municipality of Gilze Rijen, near the border with Belgium. That just eclipsed the 39.3 C (102.74 F) recorded a day earlier in the southern city of Eindhoven.
In Belgium the new all-time high rose to 40.6 C (105. F).
“This is the highest recorded temperature for Belgium in history since the beginning of the measurements in 1833,” said Alex Dewalque from the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium.
Britain also expects to breach the 39 C (102 F) mark for the first time after London recording its hottest day on record for July, with the mercury climbing to 36.9 C (98 F) at Heathrow Airport.
The previous July record was 36.7 C (98 F) in 2015, while the all-time record is 38.5 C (101 F) recorded back in August, 2003. Britain’s Met Office said records go back to 1865.
As emissions continue to warm the planet, scientists say there will be more and hotter heat waves, like those increasingly hitting the U.S. though it’s too early to know whether this hot spell is linked to man-made climate change.
“There is likely the DNA of climate change in the record-breaking heat that Europe and other parts of the world are experiencing. And it is unfortunately going to continue to worsen,” said Marshall Shepherd, professor of meteorology at University of Georgia.