Record temperatures are being set across Europe, including Paris, as the continent swelters on 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, beating the previous record of 40.4 C 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 and Belgium also reported new record heats and Britain is expected to do so later.
The Netherlands’ meteorological institute said 40.4 C was recorded on Thursday in the municipality of Gilze Rijen, near the border with Belgium. In Belgium the new all-time high rose to 40.6 C.
Britain also expects to breach the 39 C mark for the first time after London recording its hottest day on record for July, with the mercury climbing to 36.9 C at Heathrow Airport.
The previous July record was 36.7 C in 2015, while the all-time record is 38.5 C recorded in August 2003.