Brutal Heat Wave Breaks Temperature Records Across Europe

By Yessenia Funes on at

Europe is burning. A heat wave—the second in roughly a month—is taking over the continent, and it’s already breaking records. Again. And these are some of the world’s oldest temperature records.

The heat’s gotten so bad that zookeepers in Belgium fed their tigers chickens frozen in giant ice cubes and gave their bears frozen watermelons, reports Reuters. If these animals are suffering, imagine how the people throughout Europe must feel.

Germany saw its temperature break records Wednesday as Geilenkirchen, a town in the northwestern corner part of the country near the Netherlands border, reached 40.5 degrees Celsius. The previous record from July 5, 2015, was 40.3 degrees Celsius, according to the DWD German weather service.

Next door in the Netherlands, record temperatures broke, too. On Thursday, the municipality of Gilze en Rijen reached 40.4 degrees Celsius, shooting past its previous record of 40 degrees Celsius, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute reports. That previous record was set just a day earlier.

In France, temperatures have been breaking nonstop throughout cities Thursday, according to the French meteorological service. Paris saw its mercury reach 42.6 degrees Celsius; its previous record was 40.38 degrees Celsius set in 1947. Lille in northern France near the Belgium border broke its record—37.6 degrees Celsius from just last year—at 40.5 degrees Celcius. Officials are concerned the heat could cause the collapse of the fragile Notre Dame Cathedral, which almost burned to the ground in April.

London is on the verge of breaking the UK’s all-time record, the UK Meteorological Office reports. The city has set a new high for the month of July at 36.88 degrees Celsius, a 0.3-degree increase from the UK’s previous record. The highest temperature the country has seen in recorded history was 38.5 degrees Celsius, and thermometers are expecting to climb higher to potentially shatter that one, too.

This heat is real—and it’s not just Europe. The U.S. experienced a massive heat wave just last week. These types of events will become more severe under climate change. And more people will die as a result. Stay cool, y’all.

Featured photo: AP