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.
42,6 °C in Paris. The heat records are not just being broken all over the place… they are being smashed.
New record in Paris by over 2° and in Lille by almost 3° C… https://t.co/22jIMMyAqD
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) July 25, 2019
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.
London Euston tonight due to the disruption caused by the #HeatSpeedRestrictions and following overhead line damage, Think that has to be the busiest ive ever seen Euston ever!! pic.twitter.com/7P8tSnknbX
— Jake Neill (@ChopperNeill14) July 25, 2019
— 🅂🅃🄴🄿🄷🄴🄽 🄱🅄🄳🄳 #🄵🄱🄿🄴 (@stephenbudd) July 25, 2019
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.”