(ORDO NEWS) — This was the first time that temperatures over 40°C had been recorded in the UK, according to the Met Office, the UK’s official meteorological organization.
The readings were taken in the area of London Heathrow Airport shortly before 13:00 local time. Temperatures are forecast to continue rising until Tuesday afternoon.
The previous record was 101.6°F (38.7°C) in 2019. It was beaten on Tuesday by a string of readings in the south of England above the 100-degree mark.
The record was set on the second day of extreme heat and the hottest night in the UK that followed.
The UK Met Office said Monday night was the hottest on record in the UK. It listed a minimum temperature of 78.4°F (25.8°C) at Kenley on the outskirts of London, although it warned that this could be revised later.
“This unprecedented red alert for extreme heat is a wake-up call for a climate emergency,” said Professor Hannah Klok, a natural hazards researcher at the University of Reading, in a statement to the UK Science Media Center on Monday.
“Even as a climate scientist studying these things, it’s scary. It feels real,” she said.
The current heat wave was caused by hot air moving north from Africa, where it broke a number of local heat records in European countries such as France and Spain and set off a wave of devastating wildfires.
Zamora, Spain recorded a record temperature of 107.2°F (41.8°C) on Thursday, while two weather stations in Nîmes, France recorded 104°F (40°C), a record high for the city in July, according to The Washington Post.
On Monday in Ireland, 91.4°F (33°C) was recorded in Dublin, the highest since 1887 at 91.94°F (33.3°C).
From July 10 to July 16, 510 heat-related deaths were reported in Spain, according to the Carlos III Institute. Portugal recorded 659 heat-related deaths in the week since July 11, Reuters reports.
At least 16,000 people have been evacuated in Gironde, France, due to massive wildfires that have burned more than 32,000 acres of land, the region’s press office said.
The UK is not adapted to extreme heat, George Havenith, professor of environmental physiology and ergonomics at Loughborough University, told Insider recently.
“Heat can be extremely damaging in countries that have not historically suffered from high temperatures.”
“People here aren’t quite trained to deal with the heat the way someone from the south would.”
The heatwave “is another clear indicator that human greenhouse gas emissions are causing extreme weather conditions that affect our lives,” Stephen Pawson, head of global modeling and assimilation at the Space Flight Center, said in a press release. NASA Goddard.
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