News World New all-time heat records as Europe, UK swelters
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New all-time heat records as Europe, UK swelters

europe heatwave
Parisians escape the heat with a dip in the Trocadero Fountain, near the Eiffel Tower. Photo: Getty
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Sizzling hot temperatures have smashed records in France, Britain and the Netherlands as Europe endures its second heatwave in a month.

The unusually hot conditions saw a stifling blanket of hot air move from the Sahara desert across the continent on Thursday, drawn north by high pressure.

Scientists warn it’s a sign of more extreme weather events to come as the Earth heats up from global warming.

Crowds in Paris resorted to swimming in the Eiffel Tower’s fountains as the French capital reached all-time record high temperature of 42.6 degrees on Thursday.

The previous Paris record of 40.4 degrees was recorded in July 1947.

In Britain, the UK’s national weather service Met Office reported its hottest July day in history, hitting a top temperature of 36.9 degrees.

The temperature, recorded at Heathrow, London, beat the previously July record of 36.7 degrees.

Thousands of commuters were forced to endure long delays as trains were ordered to slow down amid melting train tracks buckling in the heat.

Several train operators asked commuters not to travel or set off very early.

In the southern Netherlands, the temperature peaked at 40.4 degrees, topping 40 degrees for the first time on record, Dutch meteorology institute KNMI said.

That temperature broke the national record of 39.3 degrees set the previous day. Before this week, the national heat record of 38.6 degrees had stood for 75 years.

The extreme heat is expected to last until Friday, when thunderstorms are forecast for several parts of the UK.

Climate scientists said heatwaves will become more frequent as a result of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions.

A disturbing Met Office study found that record-breaking heatwaves were 30 times more likely to occur today than in 1750 due to the high amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Since the pre-industrial period, the Earth’s surface temperature has risen by 1 degree.

“There is a 40-50 per cent chance that this will be the warmest July on record,” University of Oxford’s Dr Karsten Haustein said.

“This heatwave is exactly in line with climate change predictions.”

-with AAP