Europe swells through the second heatwave of the summer as temperatures rise to mid-40C

Nations in southern Europe swell through their second heatwave in as many months as temperatures in some parts exceed 45 degrees Celsius.

Locals and tourists all over Spain, Italy and Romania flocked to lakes, beaches and city fountains to find the respite from the extreme heat.

Temperatures in many parts of Spain have peaked at 40 degrees for several days and are expected to continue until next week.

Public thermometers showed on Thursday that temperatures rose as high as 46C in the Plaza de España in the Spanish city of Seville while people bathed in the fountains.

The heat was so extreme in Seville, one of the hottest cities in Europe, that some unions called for workers to be sent home this week.

A woman lies on the ground in a water park in the cities, shielding her face from the sun as she cools down.
Forecasts say Spain’s heatwave will last at least until the weekend.(AP: Manu Fernandez)

But many had to continue working despite the staggering temperatures.

Water pours down in front of three boys climbing into a large water fountain.
Boys playing in a city fountain before sunset in Bucharest, Romania.(AP: Vadim Ghirda)

The European Union has called on member states to prepare for forest fires this summer as the continent faces yet another extreme weather change, as scientists say triggered by climate change.

A woman holds a digital thermometer facing the camera and displays a temperature of 44 degrees Celsius.
Temperatures have been pushed into the middle of 40C in Seville.(Reuters: Jon Nazca)

Scientists blame man-made climate change for the increased frequency of extreme weather such as heat waves, which have also hit parts of China and the United States in recent days.

Light shines through water splashing along the ground in an urban water park while people cool off.
People cool off on a city beach in Madrid Rio Park in Madrid, Spain.(AP: Manu Fernandez)

A study in the journal Nature last week showed that the number of heat waves in Europe has risen three to four times faster than in the rest of the northern mid latitudes, such as the United States and Canada, largely due to the jet stream air splitting into two parts in longer periods.

White carpets are draped over part of the Alps while people walk across a wooden promenade to peek inside.
The Rhône Glacier in Switzerland is covered with blankets to protect it from the sun.(AP: Urs Flueeler / Keystone)

“Europe is very much affected by changes in atmospheric circulation,” said co-author Kai Kornhuber, a climate researcher at Columbia University.

A dog places its paws over the edge of a fountain and picks up the water.
A dog tries to reach the water in a pond to get a drink in Madrid, Spain.(AP: Paul White)

“It’s a heatwave hotspot.”

A woman lies in the clear shallow water of a rocky lake.
A tourist cools off in a lake at the Cueva del Gato Natural Park in Benaojan, Spain.(Reuters: Jon Nazca)

Animal keepers at Madrid Zoo fed pandas and bears with watermelon sticks, seals with frozen sardines and lions with frozen buckets of meat.

A close-up of a lion licking a red frozen block.
A lion enjoys his frozen treat. (AP: Bernat Armangue)

Some Europeans welcomed the heat.

A woman collects water in her hands to splash her face at a green public fountain.
People have taken advantage of public fountains.(AP: Luca Bruno)

In Catania, on the east coast of Italy’s Sicily, tourists and locals crowded cafes to eat granita, a frozen dessert, and jumped into the sea to cool off.

People are standing and lying on towels on a deck by the sea in Italy.
People cool off by the sea in Catania, Italy.(Reuters: Antonio Parrinello)

“The heat here is a little tiring, but I think it’s the least tiring thing we face this year, I tolerated it with joy,” said Catania resident Pierpaola.

Reuters / AP

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