Record temperatures are being set across Europe, including Paris, as the region swelters Thursday in what is its second heatwave this summer. Climate scientists warn this could become the new normal in many parts of the world.
Hot, hotter, hottest! Paris was bracing for record temperatures Thursday as the second heat wave of the summer bakes the European continent.
Temperatures in the Paris area were expected to reach 42 C (108 F) as a result of hot, dry air coming from northern Africa that’s trapped between cold stormy systems.
While locals sough refuge indoors, anywhere away from the scorching sun, tourists flocked to the Trocadéro fountains by the Eiffel tower. Stripping to their underwear for some, splashing around joyfully.
“When we planned Paris, we did not expect this at all.” Katie James was visiting from the US with her family: “I’m so glad we booked Airbnb and had air conditioning available because I know some other people didn’t get that”.
Climate scientists warn this could become the new normal. But temperate Europe — where air conditioning is rare — isn’t equipped for the kind of temperatures frying the region this week.
Elmar Caspers of the Netherlands was looking for a spot in the shade while his children played in the fountain. “After this, we are going to the museum to cool down”, Caspers said.
France is particularly on high alert after a nearly 15,000 people, mostly elderly, died during a previous heatwave in 2003.