Dried UP: The Rhone River, France
Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands saw more record temperatures on Thursday as Europe continued to bake under a heatwave that has been linked to climate change and could become regular summer events.
Paris recorded its highest temperatures since records began, with a high of 42.6 C, well above the previous record of 40.4 C in July 1947. The UK fared a bit lower, at only 38.1 C.
In the sweltering French capital, tourists and locals made a beeline for fountains and pools laid on by the authorities next to the Ourcq canal in the north of the city.
Authorities have warned people to keep an eye on those living alone and also to beware of taking the plunge to cool down, following an increase in drownings.
The baking temperatures are caused by a cauldron of hot air from the Sahara desert which is moving across the continent and being pushed northwards by high pressure.
A Dutch record of 39.3C in Eindhoven lasted less than 24 hours, with a weather station at an airbase in Gilze-Rijen recording a temperature of 40.4C, according to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.
An all-time high was measured in Germany for a second day running, at 41.5 degrees Celsius in the northwestern town of Lingen – temperatures similar to those in some Gulf Arab capitals.
The previous record was 40.5C. In Belgium a record high of 40.2C at Angleur was announced on Wednesday, but as of Thursday evening the mercury at Kleine Brogel, which is near the Dutch border, had hit 40.6C, breaking yet another record.
Climate scientists have warned that the high temperatures were likely to become the status quo, pointing out that the Earth’s surface temperature has risen by 1C since the industrial era.
“The fact that so many recent years have had very high summer temperatures both globally and across Europe is very much in line with what we expect from man-made global warming,” said Peter Inness, a meteorologist and senior research fellow at the Univers