Summer temperatures are soaring throughout Europe, setting records that no one is excited about. During its second heatwave of this summer so far, Paris recorded its hottest temperature to date—42.6 degrees Celsius (108.7 Fahrenheit). This temperature surpasses the previous record of 40.4 degrees Celsius (104.7 Fahrenheit) set in July of 1947, as reported by France’s national weather service.
Several news outlets shared footage of Parisians and tourists using the Trocadero fountains near the Eiffel Tower to cool down.
Southern England experienced record-setting temperatures as well, with a high of 38.1 degrees Celsius (100.6 degrees F) recorded in Cambridge. According to a tweet from the U.K. Met Office, this is the second time that temperatures have surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the U.K. The first occurrence was in August 2003 at 38.5 degrees Celsius (101.3 Fahrenheit).
Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands also experienced extreme record-setting summer temperatures. The Guardian reports a high of 40.4 degrees Celsius (104.7 Fahrenheit) recorded in the Netherlands; 40.2 degrees Celsius (104.4 Fahrenheit) in Belgium; and 41.5 degrees Celsius (106.7 Fahrenheit) in Germany.
European news outlets cite climate change as a critical driver of these sweltering temperatures. Quoting a 2019 study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, The Guardian reports that last year’s heatwave—the records of which will likely break this summer—would have been statistically impossible without human-driven climate change. According to the New York Times, scientists have reported that Europe’s hottest summers in the past 500 years have all occurred within the past 17 years. These heat waves are linked to climate change. A study conducted by the U.K. Met Office last year showed that the 2018 heatwave and the ones occurring this summer are 30 times more likely to happen now due to excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Projections from the Met Office predict heat waves of this caliber potentially occurring every other year by the middle of the century.
The video below is from the U.K. Met Office and discusses the relationship between heatwaves and climate change.