Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands saw more record temperatures on Thursday as Europe continued to bake under a heatwave that scientists are linking to climate change.
Paris recorded its highest temperatures since records began, with a high of 42.6 degrees C, well above the previous record of 40.4 degrees C in July 1947.
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.
Record temperatures rapidly overtook each other.
A Dutch record of 39.3 degrees Celsius in Eindhoven lasted less than 24 hours before a weather station at an airbase in Gilze-Rijen recorded a temperature of 40.4 C, according to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.
Similarly in Belgium, a record high of 40.2 C at Angleur was announced on Wednesday, but as of Thursday evening the mercury at Kleine Brogel near the Dutch border had hit 40.6 C.
And an all-time high was measured in Germany for a second day running, at 41.5 C in the northwestern town of Lingen – temperatures similar to those in some Gulf Arab capitals. The previous record was 40.5 C.
Climate scientists have warned that high temperatures are likely to become the status quo, pointing out that the Earth’s surface temperature has risen by 1 degree C 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 University of Reading.
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