A historic heat wave has toppled numerous long-standing temperature records with astonishing ease.
On Wednesday and Thursday, new national heat records were set in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and temperatures rose to record highs in major cities such as Paris, which soared to 109 degrees. This is the hottest Paris has been in recorded history.
The heat wave, caused by a massive area of high pressure extending into the upper atmosphere, also known as a heat dome, is set to envelop Scandinavia in the next two days, before making a run at the Arctic. This could dramatically speed up the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and enhance the loss of already record-low sea ice.
Scientific studies show that heat waves are becoming more common, severe and longer-lasting as global temperatures warm in response to human activities, including in Europe. They are also now more likely to occur.
On Thursday, new national heat records were set in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Both Paris and London broke records Thursday, as well. In the Netherlands, Thursday marked the first time that temperatures had exceeded 104 degrees (40 Celsius)…..