People across Europe are facing the brunt of soaring temperatures, with the highs reached in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium being exceeded for the second time in 24 hours. This spike in temperatures marks the second return of the continent's summer heatwave and a red alert has been issued.
The heatwave is a result of hot air blasting in from the Sahara and Spain. It has also been linked to the ongoing global warming, which experts believe is a result of human activity and interference.
Following the all-time national high of 40.5 degree Celsius recorded in the German town of Geilenkirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday, Germany’s national DWD weather service measured 41.5 degree Celsius in the town of Lingen on Thursday. This is the first time the temperatures above 41 degree Celsius have been recorded in the country. The Paris-Montsouris station in France recorded a temperature reading of 42.6 degree Celsius, making it the French capital's hottest day ever on record.
The country is also dreading the possible return of the events of the 2003 heatwave, which resulted in the deaths of 15,000 people. At the time, authorities were criticized for not implementing preventative measures.
A new high of 40.2 degree Celsius was recorded in the Belgian city of Angleur on Wednesday. On Thursday, the temperature at Kleine Brogel near the Dutch border hit 40.6 degree Celsius. Meanwhile, the Netherlands saw a 40.4 degree Celsius temperature reading in the southern Gilze-Rijen airbase on Thursday. Both countries have not seen temperatures this high since the 1940s.
A group of girls pose for a selfie picture as they enjoy the Fountain of Warsaw at the Gardens of the Trocadero during warm temperatures in Paris, May 27, 2017. Photo: GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP/Getty Images
图:GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/法新社/盖蒂图片社
Authorities in various countries across the continent have taken measures to ease the effects of the heatwave, like handing out free water to homeless people, slowing trains to avoid damage to lines and providing people shelter from the heat by opening up municipal buildings. Rail operators in France have also advised travellers to postpone their trips if possible. The cities of Paris and Lyon have banned entry to heavily polluting vehicles in an effort to clean the air.
Meanwhile, the World Meteorological Organization has reported that the heatwave threatens to move north, which could heavily impact the ice sheets in Greenland. “This will result in high temperatures and consequently enhanced melting of the Greenland ice sheet,” said WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis.